Italy got off the mark in UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying Group 2 as they took three points from the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.
While Ireland had begun their campaign with a defeat of Hungary, Italy had lost at home to Sweden so they were keen for victory on Wednesday night. They looked dangerous on the attack from the early stages and broke the deadlock when Venusia Paliotti's shot from the left side of the penalty area squirmed through the hands of Irish goalkeeper Emma Byrne and up into the net.
Before then, Stephanie Curtis and Niamh Fahey had gone close for Ireland but Italy captain Patrizia Panico doubled their advantage eleven minutes after half-time with an exquisite chip over Byrne from 18 metres out when the ball broke loose on the edge of the box. Laura Hislop made a telling impact as a substitute when, within two minutes of replacing Sharon Boyle, she set up Ireland's goal for Olivia O'Toole after 75 minutes. But Italy held on and now sit in a useful position as they wait until their next group fixture in Hungary on 27 October. Ireland go to Romania on 25 August.