Our senior women earned an excellent one all draw against World Number 2 ranked Sweden in Gothenburg this afternoon. A magnificent defensive performance against the normally prolific hosts epitomises the progress made by this group of players under the guidance of Dutch coach Vera Pauw. Ireland did ride their luck on a couple of occasions but in general they defended confidently with goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan a commanding presence. Ireland took the lead a minute before the break with a well worked free kick culminating in a shot from captain Katie McCabe which took a defection before nestling in the back of the net. We held that lead until the 79th minute when the hosts equalised but our defensive solidity remained intact and we were worthy of our draw. The RTE commentary team named Katie McCabe player of the match but this correspondent believes goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan, who received that award in the one nil home defeat by Sweden, should again have been the recipient.
Team: Courtney Brosnan; Niamh Fahey, Louise Quinn, Megan Campbell; Jamie Finn, Louise Quinn, Ruesha Littlejohn, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe (c), Chloe Mustaki; Heather Payne
Leanne Kiernan for Payne 74′
Our Senior Women under the guidance of Head Coach Vera Pauw take on World Number 2 seeds Sweden in Gothenburg at 5.30pm this Tuesday afternoon as they seek a first ever qualification for a World Cup Finals. Ireland currently sit second in Group A7 behind the runaway leaders who need just a point this afternoon to confirm their qualification. Ireland’s battle for second place and a play-off place is ostensively with Finland who will in all likelihood leapfrog Ireland into second place when they host minnows Georgia earlier this afternoon. The match will be shown live on RTE 2 and RTE Player this afternoon.
Goalkeepers: Eve Badana (DLR Waves), Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Defenders: Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Chloe Mustaki (Shelbourne), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United), Eabha O’Mahony (Boston College), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Claire Walsh (Glasgow City)
Midfielders: Lily Agg (London City Lionesses), Isibeal Atkinson (Glasgow Celtic), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Ciara Grant (Glasgow Rangers), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne)
Forwards: Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge) Leanne Kiernan (Liverpool), Abbie Larkin (Shelbourne), Ellen Molloy (Wexford FC), Heather Payne (Florida State University)