The Republic of Ireland made it two wins from their opening two Euro 2021 qualifiers with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Ukraine in Dublin.

Two goals in four minutes from captain Katie McCabe and winger Rianna Jarrett gave the hosts a 2-0 lead inside the opening half an hour.

The visitors were level by half-time through goals from Liudmyla Shmatko and Olha Ovdiychuk.

A Natia Pantsulaia own goal in the 52nd minute handed the Republic victory.

It means Vera Pauw’s side remain second in the Group I table, six points behind leaders but with two games in hand.

Tuesday night’s match at Tallaght Stadium was former Netherlands and Scotland manager Pauw’s first game in charge of the Republic.

Katie McCabe

She was appointed after the side had won their opening Euro 2021 qualifier 2-0 against Montenegro in September.

Ukraine have now lost all three of their qualifiers, having been beaten in their opening two games by the Germans, and stay bottom of the table.

The Republic made a solid start to the game and almost took the lead in the second minute when Louise Quinn headed wide from a long Megan Connolly throw-in.

Quinn went close with another header just before McCabe hit the opening goal in the 25th minute from a great move down the left which saw Denise O’Sullivan releasing Jarrett with a clever pass.

The winger beat her marker well and cut it back for captain McCabe to run on to the ball and produce a fine technique to finish into the bottom corner with her left foot.

Pauw’s side doubled their lead three minutes later, with McCabe this time providing the assist for Jarrett to score.

Republic players celebrate the Ukraine own goal

The captain produced an inviting in-swinging corner which Jarrett nodded in from close range at the back post for her first international goal.

The home side looked to have taken control of the game but a terrible error from goalkeeper Marie Hourihan allowed Ukraine to grab a goal back in the 34th minute.

She came to collect a free-kick into the box but dropped the ball unopposed and Shmatko fired in from close range despite the best efforts of Quinn on the line to keep it out.

Ovdiychuk equalised for Ukraine two minutes before the break, with the forward capitalising on a miscued Connolly clearance to prod home despite Hourihan getting a hand to it.

The Republic’s winner came seven minutes into the second half, with Jarrett again to the fore as she delivered the low cross from the left which was pushed away by keeper Kateryna Samson to O’Sullivan.

Her shot was blocked on the line by Shmatko but rebounded off Pantsulaia and into the net.

Hourihane made amends for her earlier mistake when she made a fantastic save from Apanaschenko’s shot in the 92nd minute to ensure her side claimed the three points.


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