Women’s Three Nations Tournament
Ireland 1 (E Beatty) Chile 0
Megan Frazer made her first appearance for Ireland in over two years as they continued their World Cup warm-up with a 1-0 win over Chile at Belfield.
Emily Beatty – one of the current reserves for the main event which starts in eight days – got a beautiful touch to Hannah Matthews’ cross for the single goal in the 43rd minute.
It should have been a couple more in a dominant second half with some more composed heads in the circle after a physical first period had ended scoreless.
For coach Graham Shaw, his injury situation remains up in air to a certain extent. Former captain Frazer has undergone three surgeries on her knee and so her appearance after seven minutes was an emotional one for the green army.
She subsequently played around 15 minutes on a rolling sub basis, coming through with no issue, and coach Graham Shaw is hopeful to give more pitch-time for her in Saturday’s game against Italy.
Roisin Upton did an extensive warm-up but sat out the game as they nurse her hamstring injury while Deirdre Duke did not play due to a concussion sustained last week against Japan.
Early on, Matthews’ lovely pass found the lively O’Flanagan on the left of the circle and her reverse-stick cross-shot just skipped through a couple of back-post sticks.
Katie Mullan was an aggressive force, too, on her 150th cap, making some strong inroads. At times, though, Ireland went for ambitious backhand crosses which went dangerous rather than going through the handball phases.
Chile did have a gilt-edged corner chance with Carolina Garcia seeing her effort brilliant taken off the left post by Lena Tice. Naomi Carroll’s excellent upright volley went very close in the last act of the half.
Ireland were fully in control of the second half and should have broken deadlock sooner. Nikki Evans somehow contrived to touch Anna O’Flanagan’s goalbound shot wide from close range.
Mullan sent a shot into the side-netting before the goal came. Matthews’ first attempt at a cross was blocked but she won the ball back and fired across once more and Beatty got very satisfying deflection in off the intersection of post and crossbar.
Nicci Daly’s skills almost yielded another but the one was enough to see out the victory.
Ireland will play Italy on Saturday afternoon at 2pm in Pembroke in the last of their home-based warm-up games.
Ireland: G O’Flanagan, N Evans, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G Pinder, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson
Subs: Y O’Byrne, M Frazer, N Carroll, E Beatty, C Watkins, A Meeke
Chile: C Shuler, F Villagran, D Krimerman, F Flores, C Garcia, K Jacob, C Caram, F Tala, C Palma, J Villalabeitia, J Cambiaso
Subs: F Pizarro, A Solano, P Valdivia, J Salas, M Maldonado, J Roman