Greencastle woman Niamh McLaughlin was forced off injured as Team Ireland’s Women began their World University Games bid with a scoreless draw against Mexico in Taipei.
On a scorching afternoon in Hsinchu County Second Stadium, McLaughlin had to be replaced just before half time when the energetic Inishowen woman suffered a dead leg.
McLaughlin had been lively throughout the opening period and was showing some good flashes, but now faces a fitness test to determine her availability for Sunday’s crunch encounter against Canada.
Ireland looked comfortable with containing the Mexican threat in the second period with the creativity of the North American outfit beginning to wane in thirty-two degrees celsius heat.
Milford’s Amber Barrett is a joint captain of the Ireland team and the Maynooth student almost stole the win for her side.
Ireland nearly completed the perfect smash and grab with 20 minutes to go when Barrett raced through on goal with only the ‘keeper to beat but the Donegal striker’s touch let her down and the ball was collected by Solis.
Ireland will go into Sunday morning’s clash with Canada knowing that three points will guarantee them a place in the Quarter Finals. Anything less will mean that the Girls in Green will be anxiously watching out for the result of Tuesday’s clash between Mexico and Canada.