Ireland World Cup Hopes Intact
So the Ireland Women’s side took on Holland away from home last night and claimed a famous 0-0 draw. Holland won the European Championships last summer so Ireland knew they were going to be under severe pressure throughout last night’s fixture and this was the case because after two early chances for Ireland, Holland took full control of this game and laid siege to the Irish goal for the rest of the game.
This game will be remembered for the heroic display from all 11 players who defended with real intent and aggression, this was led from the front by Amber Barrett and then Leanne Kiernan took over up front and worked extremely hard to try and close the Dutch down. The Dutch for their part are a side full of quality and you could see last night why they are European Champions.
From an Irish perspective , Colin Bell who took over from Sue Ronan set his side up to stifle the Dutch attack from front to back and they did this very well and although the Dutch had loads of possession and made the Irish team work hard to win the ball back.
Again last night , we saw an Irish side struggle to keep the ball and even in that case they still managed to create two really top notch chances that fell to Amber Barrett in the 1st half but the Dutch defence worked back to snuff out the 1st chance and then Barrett saw her 2nd chance sail over the bar.
This Irish team was missing a number of key players like Aine O Gorman and Stephanie Roche, both players were ruled out through injury. Katie Mc Cabe who plays her club football with Arsenal but is currently on loan at Glasgow City was captain last night and she worked her socks off last night and really got stuck in. She is extremely similar to her brother Gary who has played with Shamrock Rovers and a few more clubs in the League of Ireland. Her passion was infectious and it helped galvanise the side at some tough moments last night.
The likes of Marie Hourihan who plays her football with Manchester City , Diane Caldwell and Louise Quinn worked well as the two centre backs with full backs Sophie Perry and Karen Duggan working in unison to help repel the Dutch who were creating chances at will. This result is huge in the context of the hopes of getting to the 2019 Women’s World Cup. They now sit on 8 points three behind Holland who lead the way on 11.
Ireland have three home fixtures to look forward to next year where they face Holland , Norway and Slovakia in Tallaght. The other very noticeable thing from the game last night was the fact that 12,000 supporters made their way to the game. One wonders that after last night’s result will we see more people show up to the three home games in Tallaght.
Streaming had a huge impact on last night’s game because host broadcaster Eir Sport decided to stream the game on Facebook live , this of course means more people will get to see the game even if they don’t have the channel. This particular avenue will be used more and more into the future as Social Media gains momentum and this will challenge the established peaking order in terms of coverage.
Last night was a huge moment for this campaign and they can now plan for the three games in 2018. Well done to Colin Bell and his charges for securing a precious away point…
Cian Mc Gibney