Match Report: Ireland vs Slovakia Ends in Stalemate for the Girls in Green

The Republic of Ireland women’s football team were left wanting after hosting Slovakia in front of a crowd of 5000 in a cold and windy Tallaght Stadium this evening. Both sides came into the game equal on points and both needed the win to boost their chances of World Cup qualification. Chances came for both teams, but goals from Martina Surnovska and Ireland captain Katie McCabe saw the points shared.  

Ireland were the favourites going into the game and there was no doubt as to why, with all the talent that Vera Pauw has at her disposal and having come off a 2-1 win over a strong Finland team in Helsinki. Despite that, it wasn’t going to be an easy game for Ireland, as Slovakia came to Dublin with the intention of causing an upset. 

The game started off with a slow tempo, with both teams trying to find their rhythm. Chances were scarce in the first half and both teams struggled to create anything in the final third. The best chance of the half came from Ireland just before half time, when Katie McCabe whipped a corner in to the back post, which was met by Louise Quinn, but the keeper was equal to the header and kept the scores at 0-0 going into half-time.  

Slovakia came out swinging in the second half and stunned Ireland by scoring inside 2 minutes. A terrifically worked counterattack was finished off at the back post by Martina Surnovska to give Slovakia a shock lead at Tallaght. Ireland had to up the ante to get an equaliser, and that they did. Fierce shots from Megan Connolly and Lucy Quinn barraged the Slovakian goal, but it was the Irish captain Katie McCabe who rose to the occasion when she found the bottom corner from a tight angle, giving the Irish fans something to cheer about.  

Slovakia responded strongly to the equaliser, putting the Irish defence under heavy pressure. The visitors nearly grabbed a second when a miscue at the back for Ireland gifted Laura Zemberyova an easy chance to put them in the lead again, but Louise Quinn came to the rescue to save Ireland with a crucial goal line clearance. Both teams continued to push for a winner, but their efforts were fruitless, and the game finished all square. It was a great result for Slovakia, but points dropped for Ireland, who now sit just one point above Finland. 

Ireland team: 

Republic of Ireland: Courtney Brosnan; Savannah McCarthy, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahey, Megan Connolly, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe, Aine O’Gorman, Heather Payne, Lucy Quinn, Jamie Finn. 

Substitutes: Grace Moloney, Ciara Walsh, Isibeal Atkinson, Diane Caldwell, Ruesha Littlejohn, Amber Barrett, Kyra Carusa, Niamh Farrelly, Ciara Grant, Éabha O’Mahony, Emily Whelan, Roma McLaughlin. 

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