Watch: Frankfurt's Emily Kraft scored four as Ireland begin U17s Euro campaign with 14-0 destruction of Albania

Mon, Oct 22 2018

The Ireland starting XI pictured before kick-off. Credit: FAI

German-born striker Emily Kraft scored four as the Republic of Ireland opened their qualifying campaign for the 2019 European Under-19 Championships with a 14-0 demolition of Albania.

Shelbourne striker Emily Whelan, who made her debut for the senior international team in the recent friendly defeat to Poland, scored a hat-trick as Ireland ran rampant.

Colin Bell's side have tougher games to come against Wales and hosts Serbia in the coming days at the Serbian FA's Sports Centre in Stara Pazova but will be pleased by their early performance.

There were braces for Jessica Ziu of Shelbourne, captain Eabha O'Mahony of Cork City and Athlone Town's Katelyn Keogh, while Shels' Mia Dodd added the final goal late on.

Ireland led within three minutes as O'Mahony – who was recently crowned Women's National League player of the month for September – converted a penalty.

Whelan scored her first five minutes later before Kraft added her first goal, and Ireland's third, a minute later.

Ziu made it 4-0 just before the midway point in the first half, while Kraft, Whelan and O'Mahony eached doubled their tallies to send Ireland in 7-0 to the good at the break.

Kraft netted twice shortly after the break to bring up her hat-trick, while Whelan made her own claim for the match ball as she added her third, and Ireland's tenth, in the 52nd minute.

Ziu made it 11-0 from the penalty spot before substitute Keogh netted twice, and Dodd put the icing on the cake with virtually the last kick of the game.

Ireland now move on to face the Welsh on Thursday morning before concluding against Serbia on Sunday, with the top two guarantee a spot in next year's elite qualifying phase.

25/10 - Republic of Ireland v Wales, Sports Centre of Serbian FA, Stara Pazova, 11am

28/10 - Serbia v Republic of Ireland, Sports Centre of Serbian FA, Stara Pazova, 11am