Erin Fildara McLaughlin
Three Donegal players lined out for the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19 team but it wasn't enough as they fell to a 2-1 defeat in Lisbon against Norway.
Donegal Women's League striker Emma Doherty from Buncrana was introduced as a second half substitute while Sion Swifts duo Kerry Brown and Erin Fildara McLaughlin, natives of Greencastle and Culdaff respectively, both started.
Dave Connell's team were playing the first of three games as part of a mini tournament in the headquarters of the Portuguese Football Federation and it proved to be a good test.
Norway, took the lead on 22 minutes when goalkeeper Rugile Auskalnyte parried a shot from Cathinka Tandberg into the bottom corner of the net.
Ireland tried to hit back but they fell further behind when Tandberg got her second goal six minutes later when a scramble inside the penalty area left the ball free for the Norwegian No 7 to fire in.
A half chance for Becky Watkins and a free-kick from Molloy sent out the signal that Ireland were not finished just yet. Connell made some positional changes in the second period - with Ellen Molloy given licence to advance forward more - and it made a difference.
Suddenly they started to create more chances on goal with McLaughlin, Watkins and substitute Doherty going close, with Molloy at the heart of their positive play.
Molloy got her reward with a fine goal, having ghosted past three players before executing superbly. Ireland will feel that they should have got more after that but it wasn't to be.
Games against Portugal and Denmark are still to come, but Connell will be pleased with a lot of his team's play and the performances of his young players.
Republic of Ireland: Auskalnyte (Duffy 77); Kinnevey (O'Kane 88), Doherty, Stapleton, Brennan; Mangan (Slattery 60), Devaney (Slevin 77); Watkins (Lynch 77), Molloy, Brown (Corbet 88); McLaughlin (Doherty 60).
Norway: Panengstuen; Braut Brunes, Luthcke, Sorbo, Johansen; Tandberg, Skretting, Dirdal, Laupstad; Svandal, Birkelund, Hammer Ron.
Referee: Filipa Cunha (Portugal).
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