Report: Republic of Ireland 2-3 England Deaf Women
Goals from Danielle Evans, Zara Musker and Louise Hogan help the Para Lions to victory
England Deaf Women beat the Republic of Ireland 3-2 in their final group game on Thursday but just missed out on a place in the final of the 5th World Deaf Futsal Championships.
Chris Day’s side were pushed all the way by their neighbours but held on for the 3-2 victory courtesy of goals from Danielle Evans, Zara Musker and Louise Hogan, plus an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Molly Ripley.
England had to wait for another hour and a half to find out whether they would be in Saturday’s final against Brazil or the third-place play-off, with the Para Lions requiring a Brazil victory against second-place Japan to make the gold-medal match.
But Japan defeated Brazil 7-1 in their last group game, meaning the pair will face each other in the final with England now set to take on Germany in the third-place play-off on Saturday (kick-off at 5.45pm GMT/2.45pm local).
England dominated the early parts of the game but initially struggled to break down a resilient and well-organised Republic of Ireland team.
Faye Williams was one of those to have a shot saved and Musker saw a goal-bound free-kick deflected wide and had an effort stopped from close range.
Republic of Ireland v England Deaf Women
Watch the teams' final group game at the 5th World Deaf Futsal Championship
But the Republic of Ireland grew into the game and not long after Carmel Heery shot wide, they took the lead when Hogan was dispossessed by Laura McGuinn in her own half and she calmly finished.
McGuinn arguably should have made it 2-0 not long after but instead of doubling their lead, the Republic of Ireland were pulled back level soon after when Musker’s low free-kick was turned in by Evans.
England then took the lead shortly before half-time when Musker rolled the ball with the bottom of her foot to beat the defender before slotting past the goalkeeper.
The Para Lions then extended their advantage early in the second half when Hogan combined well with Brown on the left before receiving the one-two and rifling the ball into the roof of the net.
It would have been four when Evans found space near the box but Ireland’s goalkeeper Denise Doran rushed out to make an outstanding save to keep it at 3-1.
The Republic of Ireland pulled a goal back less than a minute later when Rebekah Grant intercepted a pass deep in her own half and rushed the length of the pitch to slide the ball under Molly Ripley.
The Irish pushed for an equaliser, with Heery shooting wide from a tight angle and Ripley denying Rebekah Grant when one-on-one, before a spell where England would have felt they should have increased their advantage.
Hogan, Brown and Evans all had great chances to score but on each occasion, they were denied by the excellent Doran.
And it was a similar story down the other end as Ripley once again kept England in front as she denied McGuinn from close range once more.
England: 1 Molly Ripley, 3 Zara Musker ©, 5 Louise Hogan, 8 Faye Williams, 10 Emma Brown
Substitutes used: 4 Maisie O’Shea, 6 Lucindha Lawson, 7 Danielle Evans, 9 Rose Kent,
Head coach: Chris Day
Goals: Danielle Evans, Zara Musker, Louise Hogan
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