Youth Olympic Games; Ireland U-17 girls 1 (Lucy McKee) South Africa 0
Ireland finished the group stages with a psychological boost as Lucy McKee’s goal beat South Africa – the side they will play in Tuesday’s fifth-sixth playoff in Singapore.
The win was well merited though manager Una McCarthy is hoping for a more composed performance on Tuesday to complete the tournament on a high.
Speaking afterwards, she was pleased with a win but said: “we need a more sustained performance in the classification match on Tuesday. Keeping our composure at key times will be critical and maintaining possession for longer periods is another area we need to improve.”
Ireland started in lively fashion, pressing high and created numerous turnovers and a couple of corner chances but Phumelela Mbande kept Kathryn Mullan’s two efforts at bay. Keisha Arrolds went close in the 16th minute to fire off a South African warning shot.
But McKee proved the sharpest shooter in the first half as she snaffled the second rebound from Ireland’s fifth corner of the day after Mullan and Rebecca Barry had both worked the keeper in the 28th minute.
The second half proved a scrappier affair with Ireland suffering a couple of turnovers but both sides were only able to muster half-chances, though Lucy Camlin was an assured presence in the Irish goal.
They survived a late rally, Camlin blocking Jacinta Jubb’s corner and Lisa McCarthy’s sin-binning three minutes from time, to record a clean sheet and finish the group matches in fifth. Ireland will play their final match on Tuesday against South Africa at 8am (Irish time).
World powers Argentina and the Netherlands will contest the final with the former getting the better of New Zealand in their decisive group game while the black sticks face Korea for bronze – two sides who only beat the girls in green in the final minute.
Ireland: Lucy Camlin, Rebecca Barry, Amy Cooke, Leah Ewart (c), Lisa McCarthy, Antonia McGrath, Lucy McKee, Joanne Orr, Roisin Upton, Amy-Kate Trevor, Kathryn Mullan
Subs: Emily Beatty, Chloe Brown, Katherine Morris, Kerri McDonald
Standings: 1. Argentina 13pts (+14) 2. Netherlands 11pts (+16) 3. New Zealand 9pts (+4) 4. Korea 7pts (-1) 5. Ireland 3pts (-6) 6. South Africa 0pts (-27)