AMBER Barrett looked to have fired the Republic of Ireland to a crucial UEFA Women’s 2021 European Championships Qualifier win in Greece – but the Girls in Green were denied by a late sucker punch.
Barrett’s first-half goal was all that was between the teams, but Greece drew level with an injury time equaliser.
The Greeks eked out a point when Anastasia Spyridonidou fired home in the 93rd minute to deny Ireland.
Barrett, who has settled into life at FC Köln in Germany having made a big move from Peamount United, was elevated to the starting XI for the clash at the Nea Smyrni Stadium.
Vera Pauw, the Ireland manager, made five changes from last month’s 3-2 win over Ukraine in Tallaght.
Barrett sustained a knock late in the game and, with eight minutes remaining, was replaced by Stephanie Roche.
And Ireland were left reeling when Spyridonidou side-footed past Marie Hourihane right at the death.
Barrett broke the deadlock in classy fashion in the 13th minute. Katie McCabe’s clever ball into the box fell invitingly for Barrett.
As the ball bounced, the Milford woman checked the position of the goalkeeper before brilliantly flicking home her second Irish goal.
Louise Quinn fired over from another McCabe delivery as Ireland looked to double their advantage.
Diane Caldwell couldn’t direct a volley on target before Denise O’Sullivan saw her shot saved by the ‘keeper early in the second half.
Barrett turned provider just before the hour as her cross from the right-hand side just missed a touch from the in-rushing Emily Whelan.
Tyler Toland was an unused sub – the second game in a row the St Johnston woman has not been utilised by new boss Pauw.
Greece 0-1 Ireland – Amber Barrett gives Ireland a well deserved lead with a wonderfully delicate lob to give Anthi Papakonstantinou no chance in the Greek goal. Follow it here https://t.co/hFTXszcDFT #rtesoccer #GREIRL #20×20 pic.twitter.com/YBATeS8fmX
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) November 12, 2019