Republic of Ireland women’s national team (WNT) manager Vera Pauw is hoping to take three points from the European Qualifier against Greece, which kicks off at 7.15pm in Tallaght Stadium, Dublin.
“We consider this a must-win game if we are to secure second place in the group,” said Pauw. “We played Greece in our last game so we know a lot about them and we are ready for this test.”
Ireland are unbeaten in their campaign so far, beating Ukraine 3-2 and drawing 1-1 with Greece in November after conceding a late goal. Pauw will be aiming to improve on their performance against Greece, where she said a lot of players were unavailable.
The return of the lauded Aine O’Gorman from international retirement is sure to be a boost to the national team if she features tonight. O’Gorman has 100 caps and 13 goals for the Republic of Ireland.
American-born Kyra Carusa is available to play after receiving FIFA international clearance. She qualifies through her maternal grandparents, who are from Cork and Laois.
Megan Connolly (shoulder), Jessica Ziu (groin) and Leanne Kiernan (knee) are ruled out due to injury.
Over 5,500 tickets have been sold for the match, which Pauw is delighted with. The record attendance for a WNT home game was set at last year’s victory against Ukraine, with 5,328 fans in attendance.
“We are delighted that ticket sales have been going so well, but I would like to encourage everyone who has a ticket to come to the game,” she said. “We need the support of the fans and want them to be loud, because that gives the players a real boost during difficult moments in the game.”
Republic of Ireland
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Chloe Mustaki (Charlton Athletic)
Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Hayley Nolan (Connecticut Fusion), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Julie-Ann Russell (Sydney University), Ruesha Littlejohn (West Ham United), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United)
Forwards: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Clare Shine (Glasgow City), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Krya Carusa (HB Hoge)
Goalkeepers: Gavriilidou Evdoxia (Doxa 2016), Papakonstantinou8 Anthi (PAOK), Giannakouli Dimitra (Atromitos)
Defenders: Xatzigiannidou Natalia (PAOK), Nefrou Irini (DIOSGYORI VTK), Sidira Danai-Eleni (Apollon Ladies), Parasxou Michaela (Agrotikos Asteras), Kynosidoy Kyriaki (Apollon Ladies), Gatsou Anastasia (PAOK), Moraitou Athanasiou (South Alabama), Kaldaridou Danai (DIOSGYORI VTK), Kotsaki Stella (Ergotelis), Kydonaki Vasileia (OFI Kreta).
Midfielders: Karapetsa Dimitra (PAOK), Kakabouki Eleni (PAOK), Markou Eleni (Apollon Ladies), Sarri Veatriki (Sheffield United)
Forwards: Pouliou Grigoria (PAOK), Vardali Thomais (PAOK), Koggouli Sofia (UPC TAVAGNACCO), Kokoviadou Christina (Aris Thessaloniki), Spyridonidou Anastasia (Apollon Ladies), Chatzinikolaou Despoina (Napoli)