A busy international period awaits for the Home Nations and Republic of Ireland. The senior teams all get their Nations League campaigns underway. Meanwhile, there are a series of friendlies taking place across the youth levels.
The new international season is underway. This September break sees the inaugural Nations League, CONCACAF Olympic Qualification and qualifying for WAFCON + the CONCACAF W Gold Cup plus the Asian Games amongst others. There are also a series of friendlies across the age levels.
A 52nd minute penalty was enough to see Australia edge past the Republic of Ireland in a competitive World Cup opener. Steph Catley converted to the delight of the 75,000 watching fans as the Matildas achieved a valuable opening day win.
With just over 24 hours to go before the start of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the feeling emanating from both the Australia and the Republic of Ireland camps was excitement.
It’s hard to sum up how it will feel to watch Ireland kick off their first ever major tournament in Sydney against Australia on July 20th. In what is arguably one of the toughest groups, it still felt like fate when they drew the hosts in the opener. As if that moment could be any more special! I’m not sure I’ll fully believe that the girls in green have actually made it to the FIFA Women’s World Cup until I see them line up, shoulder to shoulder in a sold-out Stadium Australia belting out Amhrán na bhFiann. My biggest concern first and foremost is whether I’ll be able to take decent photos through what will no doubt be tear-filled eyes; my second is… Australian captain Sam Kerr.
With preparations for this summer’s showpiece World Cup gathering steam, there are friendlies taking place around the world over the next few weeks. The OFC U19 Championships are also taking place as well as the Central American + Caribbean Games
Vera Pauw praised her “special group'” of players as the Republic of Ireland claimed a FIFA World Cup play-off spot for the first time in their history. Pauw’s team dug deep and never stopped running to earn three points off a tough Finland side in front of a record-breaking 6,952 spectators in Dublin.
After their first game against Georgia was postponed in September, Ireland opened their long-awaited FIFAWWC qualification campaign to Sweden on a chilly October night in Tallaght, Dublin. The home side put on a strong defensive display against the Olympic silver medallists and second ranked team in the world, but ultimately fell to a 1-0 defeat due to an unfortunate own goal from Louise Quinn.
England U19s opened their European qualification with a hard-fought victory over a spirited Republic of Ireland side.