Swiss on the up as Irish rue narrow margins

Unbeaten Swiss well placed in Group B but Ireland bottom after two narrow defeats
Forward Alisha Lehmann scores 55th-minute clincher from left corner of area
Goalkeepers Nadja Furrer and Amanda McQuillan both make fine saves in first half
Norway v Ireland and France v Switzerland next up on Sunday

Switzerland strengthened their claim to a top-two spot in Group B with a 1-0 win against a Republic of Ireland side who, for the second time in as many matchdays, were undone by a single second-half goal.

Alisha Lehmann struck on 55 minutes at Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavik as Ireland’s defensive resistance was finally broken, with the resulting victory moving Monica Di Fonzo’s team onto four points while Dave Connell’s tireless Republic outfit are still to get off the mark at this UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship.

Switzerland, for all their attacking prowess, had drawn 2-2 with Norway on Monday and despite taking the initiative here they struggled to find a way through the doughty Irish back line. In fact Ireland had the best early opportunity when Nadja Furrer saved a good shot from Eleanor Ryan-Doyle. Switzerland’s standout moment of the first half saw Amanda McQuillan come out of her goal swiftly and decisively to stifle Lara Jenzer’s dangerous approach.

It remained a tight contest after the break, until the Alpine side’s pressure paid off 15 minutes in when No10 Lehmann let fly a 20-metre strike from the left angle of the box that arced over McQuillan into the right corner. That proved an effective wake-up call for the Irish and Ryan-Doyle and Sarah McKevitt were both denied by custodian Furrer. However, not even the late introduction of forward Lucy McCartan could conjure an equaliser for the Republic, still with nothing to show for their group-stage efforts.