Taking top spot in Group I is now on the agenda for the Republic of Ireland as they prepare to come up against Montenegro in their next UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifier.
Having claimed a 1-0 home win over Greece last Thursday, Vera Pauw’s team aim to extend their unbeaten run on Wednesday as they face an opponent who they previously beat 2-0 last September.
Three points would be enough to elevate Ireland to top spot, ahead of their meeting with current group leaders Germany next month, and further boost their chances of qualifying for next summer’s finals tournament in England.
Finishing runners-up to powerhouses Germany is very realistic for the Girls in Green, especially if they can pick up the points against Montengro. With victory, they stand a very good chance of securing one of the three automatic places for group runner-ups.
The nine group winners and the three best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed team) qualify directly for the final tournament, while the remaining six runners-up advance to the play-offs.
RTE2 will again provide live coverage, as they have done for each of Ireland’s games in Group I so far. The game will also be available worldwide via the RTE Player.
The FAI confirmed that the game will be closed to the public. Despite this, kick-off is set for 15:00 Irish time.
Stephanie Roche linked up with the squad following the withdrawal of Chloe Mustaki (knee), while Emily Whelan was recalled from the Women’s Under-19s following an injury to Heather Payne (hamstring).
VERA PAUW AHEAD OF THE GAME
“We set ourselves the target of six points from two games in this series, so having beaten Greece last week we now know that our job is to beat Montenegro to complete that task.
“We know what to expect from Montenegro and we will need to apply a lot of pressure to break through and score the goals that we need to win the game. So that is what we have been preparing for.
“We haven’t had that much time together to work as a team with only a few days training before the Greece game, but I’ve told the players that the more time we have together then the better we will become in possession and in finishing chances in front of goal. And that, ultimately, is what we need to do in order to take the three points.
“We have prepared well for this game and we are looking forward to it.
Montenegro v Republic of Ireland
Wednesday, March 11
Pod Malim Brdom, Budva
Kick-Off: 15:00 (Irish Time)
Live on TV: RTÉ2
Referee: Maria Marotta (Italy)