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Stef keeps Irish hopes alive
 Women's Football News 27 Oct 2008
A second half equaliser from Stef Curtis earned the Republic of Ireland a 1-1 draw against Iceland in the first leg of their UEFA Women's Championship play-off match at Richmond Park.
However it had a disastrous start for the Irish as Iceland took a second minute lead through Holmfridur Magnusdottir, who scored from close range after a low cross by Dora Larusdottir.
Michelle O'Brien went close for Ireland but it wasn't until the 63rd minute that Ireland got back on level terms when Olivia O'Toole's pass released Curtis who found the net with a low strike. O'Toole almost scored a winner when her free kick forced a good save but Ireland are still in with a shout of reaching their first ever major Finals.
Ukraine have all but qualified for the Finals following a 3-0 win away to Slovenia in their first leg. Darina Apanaschenko scored twice and Alla Lishafai the other to give Ukraine an advantage which should make the second leg a formality.
Holland meanwhile have a great chance of qualifying for the first time after they won 2-0 in Spain, thanks to second half goals from Karin Stevens and Kristen van de Ven. To complete a fine weekend for away teams, Italy came away from the Czech Republic with a 1-0 win, Patrizia Panico scoring the only goal of the game with two minutes remaining.

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