4 key takeaways from Ireland vs Hungary

4 key takeaways from Ireland vs Hungary
Alanna Cunnane
Alanna Cunnane

Eileen Gleeson’s side came away less than satisfied, although relieved with their 1-0 triumph tonight, here’s five key takeaways from Ireland vs Hungary.

Tallaght stadium may as well have been the north pole at Ireland vs Hungary

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With the freezing cold, a few bells and whistles, and help from an elf or two to bring about the own goal, Tallaght Stadium was alike to the North Pole tonight in more ways than one.

At a hearty 1 degrees, the 6752 supporters in attendance tonight deserve plaudits themselves for committing to showing up for their team, with plenty of layers, curry chips and the lovely feeling of winning to keep them warm on the journey.

Thousands of kids cheered for their heroes during their last game on home turf this year, capping off a successful period tonight with their fifth successive win.

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Ireland’s new system

Reading as a 3-4-3 or a 5-2-2-1 depending on what way you look at it, the most interesting thing about Ireland’s change of approach in the first half this evening was that it allowed for dynamic duo Katie McCabe and Denise O’Sullivan to play alongside each other.

Although amazing on paper, it didn’t actually seem to yield much in reality, and was changed in the second half when Jamie Finn came on for Izzie Atkinson and Lucy Quinn replace Ruesha Littlejohn, forcing McCabe back to the left back position.

While it lasted though, Megan Connolly found herself back further afield than the holding midfield position she has become accustomed to in the post Vera Pauw era, holding court as the most left CB beside Louise Quinn at the anchor and Caitlin Hayes on the right. Atkinson and Heather Payne provided options down the flanks, with Tyler Tolund and Littlejohn acting as springboards to catapult Ireland into attack.

Once they got there, O’Sullivan rippled in and out between the opposition, while McCabe brought the firepower, setting in form Kyra Carusa up nicely to lead the line.

In a game where Ireland struggled to break the opposition down for large portions the full fruits of the system weren’t on display, but it could be an interesting option going forward should they decide to employ it again.

Good teams win even when they play poorly

Ireland did just that tonight. As the saying goes good teams always find a way to win, and on this occasion the Girls In Green won, and won ugly.

They could never quite grasp the final ball, or when they did they saw the ball go just adrift from the back of the net instead of into it.

Payne, who was announced as the POTM, and O’Sullivan were the standouts, although they just couldn’t seem to sew enough of the strings together to accommodate for off days from McCabe and Carusa.

Payne focused on Northern Ireland after Ireland vs Hungary

Payne spoke to the media after Ireland’s narrow win this evening, admitting that while it wasn’t their best performance “it’s good to get the three points.”

Windsor Park now awaits for Ireland’s final game of the group, and while top spot is already secured for them, their opposition have second place to play for and so will be going in all guns blazing.

“It’s a derby match, we’re going to be up for it and we’re going to want to win” the Everton woman says.

“Hopefully we can get the three points again…I’m really looking forward to it.”

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