Four debutantes as Ireland draw with Chile in Santiago

Women’s international test match
Chile 0 Ireland 0
A fresh-faced Irish side – with four debutantes – drew 0-0 with Chile in the first of their four games in Santiago on Saturday evening as Sarah Hawkshaw, Amy Elliott and twins Serena and Bethany Barr made their first senior appearances in green.

Picture: Oscar Munoz Badilla

Reflecting on the tie, coach Graham Shaw felt his much-changed side performed well but could not find the final touch to undo the world number 16 ranked side.

“I thought we started the game very well and need to score after being so dominant in the first half,” he said afterwards. “I thought the four debutants played well for the first game.

“Chile came into the game in the second half but we still had enough chances to win the game. The only disappointment is not scoring after getting ourselves in some excellent positions. We must recover well tonight and get ready to play tomorrow.”

In the early stages, Hawkshaw made an early impact when she put her counterpart under pressure. The Chileans looked to break down the right but strong marking and a quick step forced Carolina Garcia to pass the ball back into traffic.

Francisca Tala tried her luck down the opposite side but the ever-calm Zoe Wilson routinely dispossessed her and switched the play for Ireland. The Chileans pressed high at times in the opening half giving the Irish defence little time to find those rangy passes slicing through to the forwards.

Aisling Naughton impressed with her pace and skill as she caused the Chilean backline some trouble in the circle, which the Green Army found themselves inhabiting more frequently as the game progressed.

Naughton was again the instigator of another chance as she picked up the ball in her own half and darted into the Chilean circle but managed to pull the ball back to Elliott.

Her initial shot was blocked and the subsequent crash ball from Serena Barr just missed the waiting Irish shirt on the back post.

The Green Army continued to up the pressure and Roisin Upton saw her penalty corner drag flick fly just wide before the end of the third quarter.

Picture: Oscar Munoz Badilla

Elliott made several breaks through the midfield leaving a few defenders in her wake on an impressive debut. Gemma Frazer was next to test the Chilean defence down the left wing as she swept the ball in looking for the deflection in front of goal but the important touch continued to evade the Irish for the remainder of the opening test.

The two sides meet again tomorrow evening, with the match due to be streamed here

In Alicante, meanwhile, the Irish Under-21s drew 1-1 with Great Britain’s Under-23s with Laura Foley getting on the end of a move set in motion by Erin Getty via Holly Taggert and Katie Fearon to the back post.

It followed losses in their opening two games of the series, falling 2-1 on Thursday and 3-0 on Friday.

Ireland: A McFerran, S Barr, K Mullan (Captain), E Beatty, G Pinder, R Upton, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, B Barr, G Frazer
Subs: E Buckley, A Naughton, Y O’Byrne, A Elliott, L Tice, C Watkins, N Daly

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