Shelbourne's Amanda McQuillan scores and saves a penalty as Ireland march onto World University Games semi-finals

Tue, Jul 09 2019

The Shels stopper, pictured during a league game against Limerick, scored the first penalty before denying Ruonun Yin from 12 yards. Credit: Clare McCahill (ETPhotos)

Shelbourne goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan was the hero as Ireland secured a semi-final spot at the World University Games with a 4-1 penalty shoot-out win over China in Napoli.

The IT Carlow stopper stepped up to score the first penalty before saving from Ruonun Yin as the Girls in Green kept up their 100% record in this year’s competition.

The match had finished scoreless after 90 minutes and penalties from McQuillan, Megan Smyth-Lynch, Lynn Craven and Eleanor Ryan Doyle saw Dave Connell’s side into the final four.

Peamount’s Ryan Doyle, who scored both goals in the 2-1 group win over South Korea, hit the bar in the second half as Ireland pushed to finish in normal time but penalties were eventually required.

Ireland lined up with the same XI that had triumphed in both group games against defending champions Brazil and Korea, and they typically dominated possession.

McQuillan was forced into action early in the second period to deny Xi Xion but Ireland enjoyed the bulk of the play, with 73% possession, but couldn’t find the breakthrough.

Shels defender Jessica Gargan struck the post with an inswinging corner before Ryan Doyle again rattled the woodwork, and the Peamount playmaker saw a late free kick sail over the bar.

And so the game went to penalties but, after Yingying Yang struck over the bar, and Shueyue Chen converted her spot-kick, Yin missed to present Ryan Doyle with the opportunity to seal the win.

Ireland will face North Korea in the semi-finals.on Wednesday evening (kick-off 4pm Irish time, 5pm local) after they defeated hosts Italy in their quarter-final.