Thursday evening saw the Republic of Ireland Women’s National team share the spoils in their World Cup Qualifier against Slovakia with a scoreline of 1-1, a result that appeared slightly off script in comparison to their recent range of superb showcases.
A crowd of 5,164 cheered them on in Tallaght Stadium where they first fell behind in the 47th minute when Martina Surnovska surpassed Courtney Brosnan and Katie McCabe came to the rescue in the 65thminute to salvage a point and keep the dream of their first major tournament hopes alive.
Katie McCabe is on a different level right now.
⚽ 11 goals
🇮🇪 56 caps pic.twitter.com/C0FFnPLOQ4
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) November 26, 2021
They now take on Georgia this evening at 7pm where three points are viewed as crucial if they are to progress in group A. Arsenal star and WNT McCabe is keen to assure fans that they won’t take the “big” fixture “for granted."
"They are all as important as each other especially in this World Cup qualifying campaign any team can take points off each other. We need push on to Tuesday” she told HerSport after the last match.
“They are going to difficult, they have quality players in their side and we have to respect that and find the best solution to try and get the win.”
“There’s still a lot of football to be played… We have Sweden away, Finland at home, Slovakia away and Georgia twice. Plenty of games, so we’ll see come the end of the campaign.”
We might look back at this in a few months and realise just how important this block was.
Check out the slow-mo to really see just how incredible this was from @louise_quinn4
Blocked it running full speed with her trialing foot. Unbelievable.
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) November 25, 2021
Louise Quinn, centre back and goal line protecting master also emulated that same attitude, stating that today's outing is “non-negotiable” in terms of the outcome, but that the Girls in Green “won’t be dropping the heads at all.”
“You could say it’s two points dropped, or one point gained. We’re going to look at it all that way” says the 31 year old.
“It was just a little bit of our composure, a little bit of our decision making, and putting our game to teams… That’s something we still need to get right.”
“We totally have the quality to do it, but sometimes that’s the disadvantage of international football. We need to bring it together quickly” she explains.
“With that point, we’ve definitely kept ourselves in it.”
“There’s still so much to go. Anything could happen in this group. Points will be taken everywhere and anywhere. We’ve just got to try to keep it in our control and have the belief in ourselves.”
“Just know that it’s not over.
⚽️🇮🇪☘️🗣️@Louise_Quinn4: "We love coming to Tallaght. We love, even on the coldest night of the year, that people are still coming.
— Sky Ireland (@SkyIreland) November 27, 2021
Louise ‘brick wall’ Quinn.
— Girls on the Ball (@GirlsontheBall) November 26, 2021
The unfinished business continues on tonight when Vera Pauw’s side take on bottom seeds Sakartvelo unit.
Ireland were defeated 1-0 in their first encounter of the campaign versus highflyers Sweden before nabbed an away 2-1 triumph against Finland last month.
The consequence of the Slovakia junket is that a result against Georgia is now vital to their positioning in the table, as all of the other competitors have drawn points from them since the initiation of the contest.
Heather Payne is ruled out as she has returned to Florida State University for exams, but all other players are expected to be available.
Manager Vera Pauw has referred to the the match as a "must win" occurrence if her team are to progress to the 2023 tournament.
"We have prepared well and we are ready for this game, but we know that we must take the three points" she says.
"As we expected when the draw for Group A was made, there are no easy games. In fact, we believe this to be the most difficult group of all with both Slovakia and Georgia being a lot stronger than they are given credit for. And, of course, we have the top two seeds in Sweden and Finland."
"It was fantastic to have over 5,000 fans for our game against Slovakia. The atmosphere that they create is just incredible and we hope that our fans will be there once again on Tuesday night cheering the team on."
Tickets are still available for the Tallaght Stadium meet that kicks off at 7pm, with coverage also derivable live on RTE 2.
1️⃣ day to #IRLGEO 🇮🇪🇬🇪
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 29, 2021