Ireland shine in debut defeat of Spain

Republic of Ireland 1-0 Spain Three months after breaking her leg, Clare Shine scored the only goal as David Connell's side caused an upset on their finals debut.

Clare Shine completed her stunning comeback from injury with the goal that earned debutants the Republic of Ireland a dream start to life at a UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship.

Shine, who broke her leg in April, scores only goal
Fraile hits woodwork early on for 2004 champions Spain
Ireland become the 25th side to grace the finals
Connell delight after scaling first of 'three mountains'
Sweden defeat England 2-0 in other Group B game

After an even first half, Ireland began the second period with real force and soon had their reward. Katie McCabe threatened after an impressive solo effort and on 54 minutes they broke the deadlock as Spain failed to clear Sarah Rowe's delivery and Shine pounced. Not bad for a player who broke her leg in April.

Spain, who had hit the woodwork through Sonia Fraile on 12 minutes, responded well. They began asking questions of the Irish back line but every time a cohesive defence had a complete answer, their forwards helping release the pressure by providing a real threat on the counterattack. Ireland held on for fourth competitive clean sheet in a row and, more importantly, an impressive victory.

David Connell, Ireland coach
We are really pleased with the result and today I'm really proud to be Irish. Today we've proved a lot of people wrong. At the end of the match [defender] Savannah McCarthy asked me: 'Did we really beat Spain?' That's how much it means to us. Not only did we work really hard but we played some nice football, tough but fair. We are a real team and the girls are all superstars. We have three mountains to climb in this group and today we climbed one of them.

Jorge Vilda, Spain coach
Ireland made it really hard with the pressure they put on us and their dynamic playing style; it was a difficult match. I'm happy that we were able to regain our own game and we played in their half after the break. We put them under pressure but they hurt us on the counterattack at times. We played with courage and had chances but unfortunately we didn't get the ball in. It's not the best start but I remain positive.

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