Ireland head coach Sue Ronan signs off with victory in final match in charge

She led her side to a friendly win over the Basque Country in her final international match

BY Raf Diallo 18:53 Saturday 26 November 2016, 18:53 26 Nov 2016

Ireland squad celebrate by lifting manager Sue Ronan on her last game ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ireland women's head coach Sue Ronan has ended her time in charge of the national team with a 2-1 win over the Basque Country.

The former Ireland player had led the team for six years but the friendly match marked her final game as manager.

Sunderland striker Stephanie Roche opened the scoring in the 24th minute.

Player of the Match Leanne Kiernan was fouled just outside the box after a mazy run and Roche picked out the top corner with a sublime free-kick to put the hosts ahead.

The Basque Country responded before the break with an excellent strike from Yulema Corres.

But the Irish side would find the winner through the impressive Kiernan on 52 minutes.

CD Waves forward Aine O'Gorman chipped the ball over the Basque defence and Kiernan used her pace to race clear and coolly slot home to give the Irish the win.

Speaking after an emotional game from a personal perspective as she moves on to focus fully on her position as Head of Women's Football for the Football Association of Ireland, Ronan said: "It was the perfect end really with the perfect performance. There was a lot of things going on before the game but the players were focused and delivered a great performance.

Ireland form two lines to applaud Manager Sue Ronan off the field on her last game ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

"It was a great goal from Stephanie Roche but maybe we didn't refocus well enough to let them back in the game. The second-half was immense though.

"Leanne Kiernan was fantastic and she took her goal really well, and there were a lot of great performances across the pitch.

"It was great to bring Amanda McQuillan, Roma McLaughlin, Alex Kavanagh and Niamh Prior on as these players are the future of the team.

"It's been a great six years. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it to a finals but I couldn't have any more from the players over the period.

"It was a lovely end, I've been humbled by the tributes from clubs, supporters and former players from across the country and I really feel like a lot of progress has been made."


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