The Republic of Ireland WNT obliterated their seven-game losing streak to pick up a 3-2 triumph over Australia in Tallaght Stadium last night amid the roars of 3,314 supporters.
Settling themselves in a confident position heading into next month’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, goals from Lucy Quinn, Denise O’Sullivan and Louise Quinn saw The Girls in Green overcome the squad placed 22 spots higher than them in the world rankings.
While big name striker Sam Kerr may have thought it was written in the stars that The Aussies were to prove victorious on her 100th appearance Vera Pauw’s outfit had a different plan in mind and set it in action right from the off.
None other characterizes this more than the opening tally on the scoresheet. Having received international clearance to represent Ireland just seven days ago Lucy Quinn took three minutes to net the first goal of the game on her debut. While it may go down as an OG in the official history books given the ball retaliated off goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold before going in, the Birmingham City player converted a stunning free kick put the home side in a good position early on.
The Matilda’s came back with vigour in the following minutes, assembling strings of intricate passes and sharply playing the ball amongst their lines. The rub of the green saw them equalise via Mary Fowler to beat Ireland’s net minder Courtney Brosnan around a quarter of an hour in, but the luck swung both ways as O’Sullivan’s strike deflected off Australia’s defence to regain Ireland’s lead.
The vistors weren’t down and out yet though as Fowler secured her brace to see the first half conclude at 2-2 a piece.
Set pieces the running theme through all of the Katie McCabe captained group’s goals, Louise Quinn headed home what would prove to be the winner just after the interval to top off an already formidable performance the centre back was having at the other end of the pitch.
Speaking after the match manager Pauw was eager to dispel thoughts of “relief” of breaking the string of unsuccessful results, instead choosing to focus on the aspect of the “process.”
“We never for one moment thought we were not on the right track. We have chosen the best opponents to get better and of course you get defeats but they were 1-0’s and 2-1’s and just mistakes of ourselves” she says.
“Don’t forget that we have now 11 players missing, of which five are starting players and if you see the ones that are coming in and the way they have performed you can say that because we do this programme and because we set it up we are getting so flexible.”
“It’s a very good win but it’s about next month. Then the qualifiers start and over the whole period we need to get better than Finland that’s what is our aim.”
Republic of Ireland: Brosnan; Fahey, Louise Quinn, McCarthy; O’Gorman, McCabe; Finn (Caldwell 90), O’Sullivan, Barrett (Farrelly, 60); Payne (Kiernan 90), Lucy Quinn (Whelan 72).
Australia: Arnold (Williams HT); Polkinghorne, Kennedy (Checker HT), Nevin (Beard 68); Yallop (Gant 68), Logarzo (Wheeler 53), Cooney-Cross, Catley; Gielnick, Kerr, Fowler.
Referee: Paula Brady (Ireland).