Match Previews

AIC Preview: Cliftonville vs City

AIC Preview: Cliftonville vs City
It’s back to Belfast for Cork City FC Women on Sunday, 9th July ahead of the Avenir Sports All Island Cup Semi-final against Cliftonville in Solitude. The 2pm kick-off is live on LoI TV, and Danny Murphy and his players already know it’s Galway United who await the winners of Sunday’s Semi Final. The Tribeswomen came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw away to Wexford Youths and came out on top 5-4 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, with Gemma McGuinness scoring the deciding penalty. It was a happy Cork City that left Belfast last weekend, with Fiana Bradley’s goal the differencing in a 1-0 win over Crusaders and Murphy was full of praise after the win “It was a great result against Crusaders, the girls played really well. It was probably the most complete performance we have had as a team this season. It is very pleasing to see how we are developing as a team this season”. After a tough league campaign, the Avenir Sports Cup has offered Cork City a fresh start which they’ve relished, claiming three wins in a row and with a potential final just 90 minutes away “We’re excited to be in the semi-final and we’re really looking forward to it” said Murphy “Cliftonville throw up a different challenge to what Crusaders did. They are strong with some internationals in the team. It won’t be an easy game and it won’t be something we will take lightly. We have our game plan, and we will put that in place at 2pm on Sunday” A player to watch on the Cliftonville team is 20-year-old defender Toni Leigh Finnegan. Finnegan has played for Northern Ireland on six occasions. The defender scored a long-range free kick against Linfield in their 6-1 victory in the Women’s Premiership cup semi-final on Wednesday night. Cliftonville currently sit second in the premiership. They have won 7 of their 9 games to date, drawing once and suffering defeat on one occasion. They have scored 56 league goals to date so far this season and conceded just 5. Their only defeat this season came against City’s quarter final opponents Crusaders. That 3-1 loss came on June 28th. The All-Island Cup is one of three cup competitions they are still pursuing alongside the Premiership Cup and the County Antrim Cup, while chasing the NI Premiership title. City will be hoping to halt their chase for a Quadruple. Robert Augnier

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