So an impressive 9-0 away win leaves Ireland in pole position to secure a playoff place for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Vera Pauw’s side are aiming to become the first Irish team to ever qualify for a major championships, and they’re now in second place with two games left.
Finland are up next on September 1st, before an away trip to Slovakia five days later. Sweden currently top the pool on 19 points, Ireland are on 11 with a game less played. They’re two points and 12 goals ahead of Finland in third.
Scroll down to follow the action as it happened. The match report from Georgia is incoming so keep an eye out on the homepage for it. For now though, thanks for joining us.
Vera Pauw: “In the first half we could’ve been sharper. We can be even better but we are in pre-season. Off-season 9-0, a record away win, what more can you want.”
Katie McCabe: “Can’t wait (to play Finland) we want to see as many fans as we can. We want to pack out Tallaght Stadium because it’s a massive game!”
Player of the match, Megan Connolly . . .
FT Georgia 0 Ireland 9 Job done!! A hat-trick for Katie McCabe, six scorers in all. And 20-0 across two games against Georgia!
Georgia 0 Ireland 9 (93′) Quinn’s cross is taken down on the turn by O’Sullivan who then finishes into the left corner. A beautiful first touch and a deserved goal for her!
Four minutes added on as Megan Connolly is named player of the match.
Georgia 0 Ireland 8 (86′) McCabe’s cross finds Larkin who has her shot blocked. Corner Ireland - their 18th of the game so far!! This time Georgia defend it well.
Georgia 0 Ireland 8 (81′) At the end of an excellent move young substitute Abbie Larkin goes close to grabbing an eighth goal. A minute later she grabs her first goal for Ireland - Diane Caldwell chips a ball into the box, Ziu heads across goal and Larkin heads in first time.
Georgia 0 Ireland 7 (75′) McCabe sends in a free-kick and Quinn meets it with a brilliant header into the corner of the net. GOAL number two for the defender and six for Ireland. Within a minute McCabe grabs her hat-trick!! Connolly chips a ball in over the top and McCabe meets it with a first time finish. Punishing Georgia’s deep defensive line. 7-0!!
Georgia 0 Ireland 5 (71′) McCabe’s free kick from distance is well saved and the resultant corner is well cleared. Georgia are getting better at defending the Irish corners. Albeit their base level was very, very low.
Georgia 0 Ireland 5 (69′) Courtney Brosnan makes a good save in the Ireland goal, her first significant involvement after nearly 70 minutes of action.
Georgia 0 Ireland 5 (63′) Substitute Lily Agg is denied a goal for a handball. She had done well to win the ball back in the Georgia box, skip past two players and finish. But the ball came down off her hand after she’d initially made the tackle.
Georgia 0 Ireland 5 (59′) Connolly’s shot from distance is well held by the Georgian goalkeeper. Barrett then finds herself in space in the box and her tame shot to the near post is easily saved.
Georgia 0 Ireland 5 (55′) Jess Ziu has been lively early on in the second half. She’s taken down by a late tackle. Connolly tips it to McCabe but the Georgian wall does its job.
Georgia 0 Ireland 5 (48′) O’Sullivan skips inside two defenders to make space for a good shot from the edge of the box, that’s well saved. The resultant corner is cleared but when it’s sent back in Louise Quinn meets it with a powerful header at the back post. GOAL!
Georgia 0 Ireland 4 (46′) The second half is underway. No changes to the Ireland team.
HT Georgia 0 Ireland 4 - Katie McCabe’s two goals either side of two goals from corners give Ireland the big interval lead, and most likely the crucial three points. So far so good, but they’ll need to keep pressing hard and pushing for more goals in the second half! Ireland, at half-time in their sixth game have a +15 goal difference and 11 points to Finland’s +8 and 10 points after six games.
Georgia 0 Ireland 4 (46′) Penalty shout for Ireland, Amber Barrett chases a long ball down and cuts it inside for O’Sullivan who looked to be clearly pushed in the back. Then inside the one minute of added time, a corner is cleverly played to McCabe at the edge of the box, and despite slipping her shot rattles the net. GOAL!!
Georgia 0 Ireland 3 (38′) Two corners in a row the Georgia goalkeeper comes for and gets enough on it to clear. McCabe and O’Sullivan then combine and are denied by some brave blocks by the Georgian defence who are defending a deep line.
Georgia 0 Ireland 3 (35′) Ireland’s attack is losing a bit of energy and Georgia are happy to sit back and keep the score down. From distance McCabe unleashes a beautiful strike that’s tipped over the bar. Corner number eight for Ireland upcoming...
Georgia 0 Ireland 3 (32′) O’Sullivan wins the ball back twice as Georgia try to play out of their defence, the second time she unleashes a strong shot, but it’s not on target.
Georgia 0 Ireland 3 (27′) Megan Connolly picks out McCabe with a wonderful crossfield pass. The Arsenal player’s shot is blocked for another corner. Georgia then do well to block a number of Irish shots and defend several crosses.
Georgia 0 Ireland 3 (25′) Heather Payne plays a one-two, cuts into the box and wins a corner as her cross is well blocked. The resultant corner again causes panic, but this time the Georgia goalkeeper gets a hand on it.
Georgia 0 Ireland 3 (18′) Katie McCabe’s cross almost picks out Payne but it’s cut out for another corner. A fourth for Ireland. The goalkeeper again fails to claim it as it’s landed on top of her, and this time Megan Connolly gets a foot to it for another GOAL! What a start for Ireland.
Georgia 0 Ireland 2 (17′) Ireland send in another dangerous corner which is headed clear, but only for another. They again load the Georgia box but it’s scrambled clear at the back post. Ireland’s pressing is winning the ball back so quickly and putting the hosts under serious pressure.
Georgia 0 Ireland 2 (13′) Ireland send a corner into a loaded penalty area - Louise Quinn heads across goal and it bounces into Niamh Fahy who reacts brilliantly to head in from close range.
Georgia 0 Ireland 1 (6′) GOAL!! Heather Payne plays a nice ball from the right to Denise O’Sullivan at the edge of the box, Katie McCabe comes on the overlap to her left and after receiving a lovely pass in front of her she drills a rocket of a shot into the back of the net!!
Georgia 0 Ireland 0 (1′) Game on! Ireland make a lively start, applying pressure on and off the ball to the hosts.
“Ireland’s opponents have lost all six games in the group so far, have scored no goals and conceded 41 so this should be a routine win for the Irish team. Once they secure the three points and move above Finland into second place, then the group moves into the business stage and sets up the final two crucial games in the group.”
External problems, be they weather or travel, should not deny Ireland three points against the team they thumped 11-0 seven months ago in Tallaght. Gori must prove an efficient pit-stop en-route to crucial September fixtures against Finland and Slovakia...
Check out the preview of tonight’s match including Vera Pauw’s thoughts here
How things stand . . .
Ireland are currently in third place in Group A, two points behind Finland with one game in hand. They face Finland on September 1st, before concluding their pool against Slovakia five days later. Sweden currently top the pool, nine points clear of Finland. So far, Ireland have already beaten Georgia 11-0, Finland 2-1 and drawn with Slovakia.
Hello and Welcome . . . Ireland take on Georgia in Tbilisi this afternoon (kick off is 5pm Irish time), knowing a win will put them in pole position to secure a playoff place for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Vera Pauw’s side are aiming to become first Irish team to ever qualify for a major championships.
Keep in touch via Twitter (@DonoghueEamon) but for now, let’s get started!!