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The Republic of Ireland and Iceland are level in their UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ play-off following a draw in Dublin.
Stephanie Curtis' 63rd-minute equaliser means the home side are still in the tie but Noel King's side are very much second favourites following Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir's early opener for Iceland. The second leg takes place on Thursday in Reykjavik.
King had appealed for Irish supporters to turn out in big numbers to back their side but those fans were still settling into their seats when Magnúsdóttir gave Iceland the lead inside 25 seconds. Dóra Lárusdóttir sent a low cross into the penalty box and Magnúsdóttir beat Arsenal LFC goalkeeper Emma Byrne from close range.
Ireland sought an immediate response but they had to wait until the 15th minute for the first real chance, Michelle O'Brien going close after good approach work by Mary Therese McDonnell. However, Iceland still posed a threat and Rakel Hönnudóttir volleyed wide on 23 minutes when she appeared to have done the hard work.
Magnúsdóttir shot wide shortly after half-time, a scare which seemed to force Ireland into a response as Curtis soon levelled. Substitute Olivia O'Toole slipped in Curtis and the Bristol Academy WFC striker fired across goalkeeper María Ágústsdóttir with the aid of a slight deflection off Ásta Árnadóttir. O'Toole then almost poached a winner for the home side with 15 minutes remaining when she fired in a free-kick which Ágústsdóttir did well to keep out.
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