Poland’s ladies had an afternoon to forget on the southern Spanish coast, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.
In warm conditions, Nina Patalon’s side were making their debut appearance in the Pinatar Cup, against an Irish side ranked only one place below them in FIFA’s latest rankings. Although a “friendly” tournament on paper, the matches are seen as key as the White Eagles prepare for their next batch of World Cup qualifying matches, beginning in April.
After a goalless first half, Poland were literally handed an opportunity three minutes into the second. After a handball in the Irish box, Paris Saint-Germain defender Paulina Dudek picked up the ball, and comfortably fired past the Irish goalkeeper.
From there, it looked as though Poland would extend their lead; however their pressure was broken in the 66th minute. As Poland failed to clear, the ball eventually fell to Irish striker Lucy Quinn, whose shot across goal left AZS UJ Kraków keeper Karolina Klabis grasping at thin air as the ball sailed into the corner.
The goal only spurred Ireland forward, and ten minutes later they took the lead. Lucy’s namesake and her Birmingham City teammate Louise Quinn rose highest to meet a cross, and diverted her header towards goal; although Klabis scrambled and got her hands to the ball, she couldn’t prevent it sneaking in at her right-hand post.
Poland did push for an equaliser late on, and had the ball in the back of the net through Gabriela Grzywińska; however her shot was ruled out with Nikola Karczewska having strayed offside in the build-up.
The defeat leaves Patalon’s Orlice now facing a 5th-8th place play-off against the losers of Wednesday evening’s match between Hungary and Russia. This match will take place on Saturday evening.
Republic of Ireland – Poland 2:1 (0:0)
Lucy Quinn 66′, Louise Quinn 75′ – Paulina Dudek 49′
Poland: Karolina Klabis – Zofia Buszewska (79′ Katarzyna Konat), Małgorzata Mesjasz, Paulina Dudek, Martyna Wiankowska (67′ Anna Zapała) – Weronika Zawistowska, Gabriela Grzywińska, Adriana Achcińska (79′ Karolina Gec ), Dominika Grabowska, Ewelina Kamczyk (67′ Natalia Padilla-Bidas) – Nikola Karczewska.
Ireland: Courtney Brosnan – Niamh Fahey, Louise Quinn, Savannah McCarthy – Heather Payne (67′ Jess Ziu), Ruesha Littlejohn, Megan Connolly, Lucy Quinn, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe – Kyra Carusa (82, Amber Barrett).
Yellow card: Achcińska.