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Republic of Ireland 0-2 England: We ‘need to keep believing’, says Irish captain Katie McCabe

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England went ahead early at the Aviva when James tucked home from close range on 12 minutes and Greenwood extended their advantage from the spot six minutes later after Ruesha Littlejohn was penalised for a handball.

Louise Quinn also conceded a penalty for handball, but Greenwood hit the post, and after the break the Republic of Ireland gained a foothold in the game.

Just like against France in their opening game, which they lost 1-0, Eileen Gleeson’s side carved out opportunities and went close through McCabe and Caitlin Hayes.

Despite falling to their second defeat, McCabe expressed her pride with the second-half performance as the Republic fell just short of scoring a goal their persistent pressure merited.

“The first half we were quite passive. We allowed them too much space, and for us, they were avoidable goals [to concede] and we’ll look to get better at that going forward,” she admitted.

“We know the qualities they have. We respected them too much in the first half and there were areas we could have got at them and that’s what we will look to do better.

“They are European champions and they showed their qualities in the end, and I think they were even timewasting at one point to run the game out which I was surprised at.”

The loss leaves the Republic of Ireland bottom of the group ahead of a double-header against Sweden in May and June, but McCabe doesn’t believe that her side’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament in Switzerland are over yet.

“Obviously we’re disappointed. France was a really difficult game and we knew it was going to be difficult again against England, but we need to keep believing,” she said.

“We’ve got qualities in this team both from dead-ball situations and in open play as well.”

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