Ireland’s women return to action in the women’s World Cup as they look to get their first win of the campaign against Chile (world ranked 17) and boost their chances of reaching the knock-out stages.
It is a big contrast from the opening tie of the competition against the world number one Netherlands, facing a south American outfit who are the lowest ranked nation in the competition, playing in their first World Cup.
As such, they offer a very different challenge but one that is vastly experienced and ready to make the most of this unique chance on the elite stage.
Chile pushed Germany hard in their first group match, Denise Krimerman’s thunderbolt corner goal keeping them in contention at half-time before the European side pulled away in the last 16 minutes.
With the Netherlands beating Germany 3-1 on Sunday evening, it means that both Ireland and Chile need a victory to stay in the hunt in the group with second and third place going through to a playoff game.
In terms of a head-to-head, Ireland have won six of their nine meetings with two draws but Chile’s only win coming during a shared series in Santiago in 2019.
The vast majority of their panel is still in situ but just six Irish players from their most recent battle are still around, showing the diverse paths in the intervening three years.
“They are where we were four years ago at a first major tournament,” Róisín Upton said. “They will take a lot from their opening game against Germany as well, do their homework on us.
“There isn’t too much footage out there on them so we will see what we can work out from them and then focus on ourselves and the little things we can learn from.”
Deirdre Duke added: “We have been thinking about this Chile game for quite a while but I think it’s important we got out and play our own game and don’t build it up too much. They are a good side but it is about us tomorrow and doing our basics right.”
The crowd presence will also be a fraction of Saturday with no Dutch match on the agenda on the day and the 2pm start time ruling out a sea of schoolkids amping up the decibel level.
The hope is the travelling support have not been inconvenienced by flight cancelations to Schiphol to make their presence felt.
Women's Hockey World Cup
Tuesday, July 5th: Ireland v Chile, Wagener Stadium, 1pm (Irish time)