McCabe earns 50th senior international cap as Ireland go down to Belgium

McCabe earns 50th senior international cap as Ireland go down to Belgium

By Daire Walsh

DESPITE an encouraging display overall, the Republic of Ireland women’s team fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium in an international friendly encounter at King Baudouin Stadium this evening.

Tine De Caigny’s 14th-minute goal was the difference between the teams in the Brussels venue as Vera Pauw’s side suffered a second defeat in the space of four days - following a similar loss to Denmark in Tallaght on Thursday.

Ireland V Denmark 04

Ireland captain Katie McCabe from Kilnamanagh earned her 50th senior international cap against Belgium this evening

A native of Kilnamanagh, Katie McCabe captained Ireland on the occasion of her 50th senior cap.

Joining the Arsenal footballer in the starting line-up was Peamount United’s Claire Walsh, who featured in a back-three alongside Diane Caldwell and Claire O’Riordan.

The Republic were doing their best to pressurise the hosts during the early exchanges, but ultimately came unstuck just shy of the 15-minute mark.

A domestic-based player with Anderlecht, Tine De Caigny got in front of Irish netminder Courtney Brosnan to fire home from an expertly-delivered set-piece.

The visitors did improve as the half progressed and after cutting inside from the right-hand side, Heather Payne unleashed a left-footed strike that led to her side’s first shot on target.

Nonetheless, they ultimately found themselves a goal behind at the break and were fortunate not to fall further adrift on the restart.

De Caigny appeared odds-on to double her tally for the night, but inexplicably far past the post from close-range.

Peamount skipper Aine O’Gorman was the first player to be introduced off the Ireland bench and Louise Quinn from Blessington – herself a former Peas star – arrived in the latter stages of the contest. Ireland were close to equalising just before the latter was sent into the fray.

In the 78th-minute, Ruesha Littlejohn unleashed a powerful free-kick from a left-hand angle that was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Belgian goalkeeper Justien Odeurs.

Ordinarily deployed as a centre-half, Quinn was instead used as a direct option in attack.

Her knock down off an O’Gorman delivery found its way into the path of Rianna Jarrett and she forced a fingertip stop out of Odeurs.

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