Republic of Ireland need three points to keep faint World Cup hopes alive

Irish women’s team must beat Slovenia at Tallaght stadium tomorrow night

Republic of Ireland manager Sue Ronan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Republic of Ireland manager Sue Ronan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho


Having become the latest Republic of Ireland women’s squad member to venture overseas to pursue her career, France-based Stephanie Roche is aiming to add international success to her portfolio in the World Cup qualification run-in that starts tomorrow night.

Anything less than three points against basement side Slovenia at Tallaght Stadium will derail Ireland’s remote prospects of clinching a playoff spot for the finals, with two fixtures still to play.

As they trail second-placed Russia by five points, only a perfect finish to the campaign, coupled with a few slip-ups by the Russians, will shuttle Sue Ronan’s side into contention.

Dubliner Roche, recently recruited by French top division outfit ASPTT Albi, insists her Ireland squad must concentrate on seeing off a winless Slovenian side before they can contemplate featuring in the business end of the campaign.

“When we beat Slovenia 3-0 away in one of the early qualifiers, it was probably our best attacking display of the campaign,” she said.

“We’re coming into this qualifier in good form, having kept two clean sheets in the win over Croatia and draw in Russia, so we’ll have no problems once we keep playing as we have.

“There’s a lot of flair players in our squad now, with the likes of Julie-Ann Russell and Denise O’Sullivan, and we tend to create plenty of chances. The Tallaght crowd have been brilliant to us so far in the campaign and hopefully we give them a few goals tonight.”

The former Peamount United winger, who has started the last two qualifiers for Ireland, is enjoying the latest part of his career path in France.

“The French league is of a really high technical standard, which suits my style,” she said. “The season has only started and we’ll play Olympic Lyon and Paris St-Germain in back-to-back league games in October.

“While the only downside is the language barrier, I’ve started taking French lessons which has helped me overcome that.”

Ireland manager Sue Ronan has a full squad to choose from, with no injury concerns or players suspended.

Republic of Ireland (probable): Byrne (Arsenal); O’Gorman (UCD Waves), Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Fahey (Arsenal), Duggan (UCD Waves); Roche (ASPTT Albi), Gorman (UCD Waves); Littlejohn (Sandviken), D O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Russell (UCD Waves); F O’Sullivan (Notts County).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.