Ireland picked up 6 points in their latest qualifiers against Greece and Montenegro.
The win against Greece was nervy as Ireland remained just one goal ahead despite a host of chances. Diane Caldwell eventually put Ireland ahead at the stroke of halftime, with Katie McCabe and Louise Quinn linking up from a freekick. Ireland had the better of the attacking play with the Greeks parking the bus, and struggled to break them down. Ruesha Little john had a particularly impressive performance, despite her self criticism in the post match interview claiming she couldn’t finish her dinner.
Against Montenegro, Ireland again played all the football and created good chances. Caldwell once again put Ireland ahead, however the remainder of the half proved frustrating for the girls in green. Montenegro didn’t really offer anything during the game, and two late goals from Katie McCabe and Denise O’Sullivan sealed the win. Putting teams away while on top seems to be an issue for this side, but there can be few complaints having picked up 6 points.
Ireland now sit top of Group I having played 2 games more than Ukraine and one game more than everybody else in the group. Ireland’s remaining games are against Germany at home and away, and away to Ukraine. All the group winners and top 3 runner-ups will qualify automatically for Euro2021 while the remaining runner-ups will go into the play-offs. Ireland are looking to qualify for their first ever major tournament.
Difficult tests lie ahead for Ireland. Ukraine have played their most difficult games, including Ireland away and Germany twice. The Ukrainian’s were predicted to be Ireland’s closest challengers for 2nd place. As they usually are in football Germany are favorites to top the group. Despite not being overly impressive in last years World Cup, they have breezed past everybody so far.
We were joined after both games by award winning journalist Emma Duffy of the42.ie. You can listen to her thoughts on the Montenegro game here, or on Spotify below.
If you missed our discussion on Ireland’s 1 – 0 win against Greece you can listen here or below on Spotify:
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