Ireland 1 Hungary 0 (FT) - as it happened

Relive the action from Tallaght Stadium as Ireland scrapped their way to another Nations League win


Ireland 1 Hungary 0 (FT)


I will leave you with Gavin Cummiskey’s match report. See you all on Tuesday for the Northern Ireland game.


It’s nice to be put under pressure, we’re trying to change our approach and be more on the front foot. With that we’re going to make mistakes but it’s how we respond to those. I’m very proud of the girls. Frustrating, but we got the three points tonight. I’ve played up top in the Albania game earlier in October, it depends where the space is but it’s not about me. It’s about the team and the quality we have all around.

—  Ireland captain Katie McCabe


I wasn’t worried, but we could have affected the areas more than we did the other day. I told you they’d be assertive and come at us. In the first half, we dropped off when we never attended to drop off. I thought we did better in the second half. There’s still a lot we wanted to improve on but three points, a clean sheet, we can be happy with that. It is a work in progress, but we’re trying to bring through players. That takes time.

—  Ireland manager Eileen Gleeson


We knew Hungary would be better than the first time we played them. It wasn’t our best performance, we showed resilience and we got three points. I like to see myself as more of an offensive wingback than anything else. I tried to get forward to give us some chances and lucky enough we got a goal out of it.

—  Player of the match Heather Payne


The end of a dreary night in Tallaght. A win is a win, as they say. A fifth win out of five Nations League campaign, and another clean sheet, on paper it is a successful evening.

You can leave it at that, really. Ireland were sluggish. Their final ball high up the park let them down time and again as that killer instinct that has come so easily in this campaign was missing. Regardless, there was enough shown by the likes of Heather Payne down the right to cause issues and ultimately it was her linkup play with Sinead Farrelly that led to the goal, forcing the mistake and the own goal.


Full-time Ireland 1 Hungary 0


90+1 mins: Somehow, McCabe avoids yellow again after cutting down Turányi after she had dispossessed the Ireland captain. As cynical as fouls come really.


Four additional minutes for Ireland to hang on with their lead still slender.


Heather Payne has been named player of the match. She has been Ireland’s best source of attacking threat down that right flank on a frustrating night for Eileen Gleeson’s charges.


86 mins: She might not have known much about it, but that was an important block from Hayes. Zeller pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box before quickly wrapping her foot behind it. The ball look goalward bound, Brosnan would have struggled to make it across, so Hayes’ block was vital.


Hungary’s Henrietta Csiszar so far has the defining intervention of the game with her unfortunate own goal.


82 mins: Ireland struggle to clear the corner first time, but they do well to swarm to the edge of the area and prevent an easy shot once the ball does come out. Papp does try her luck but it’s a wild effort that sails wide.


80 mins: Side netting! Hungary break and Zeller works a nice overlap down the right. She cuts inside and lets fly, only for the shot to be deflected into the side of the goal for a corner.


76 mins: Ireland continue to pile on the pressure. A series of corners cause problems, with one being deflected by a defender inches under her own goal. Hungary try to clear but Carusa is fouled high up the pitch, meaning Ireland can send another ball into the box. Connolly tries to catch the ‘keeper unawares with a speculative strike off the free but Szocs gathers comfortably.


74 mins: CHANCE! Louise Quinn looks set to score with a header from close range off a McCabe corner. A red jersey pops up to get a crucial block in, keeping the gap at one goal.


71 mins: Wow. You shall not pass. Farrelly is upended in a thumping challenge from Turányi but it is legal, the defender sliding in to get the ball before Farrelly’s awkward landing.


67 mins: Hungary threaten to strike back as Hayes gives the ball away close to the Ireland box. Kovács tries to put a ball into the box with Brosnan off her line but Quinn is there to clear.



Ireland finally break the deadlock in the 65th minute. She’s been excellent tonight, but Csiszár has put the ball into her own net. It was good build-up as Farrelly and Payne play a one-two. The latter puts a difficult ball into the box, the ‘keeper comes but can’t claim. Csiszár is able to get to the ball first with O’Sullivan lurking but she can only slice the ball into her own net when trying to clear.


64 mins: Ireland make another change. Tyler Toland goes, Sinead Farrelly enters proceedings.


63 mins: A now trademark moment of McCabe frustration. Csiszár breaks past the Ireland captain down the right and she proceeds to unceremoniously stick out a leg and take her down. Probably fortunate not to see yellow.


59 mins: Not for the first time tonight, the final ball lets Ireland down. Initially, O’Sullivan does brilliantly, dancing past one defender despite some heavy contact. She tries to roll it into the path of Carusa on the edge of the box but the ball is behind her, the striker cannot stretch to take it in and Hungary clear.


56 mins: Double change for Ireland. Lucy Quinn is on for Atkinson, while Littlejohn’s night is also done as Jamie Finn replaces her.


54 mins: Brosnan roars at her outfield players after Littlejohn is once again caught in possession in midfield. Zeller sees Brosnan off her line and attempts to chip her from distance but it sails harmlessly over. Once she sees it’s safe, Brosnan lets her teammates have it.


52 mins: OFF THE LINE! Hayes gets a head on the corner from Connolly and it’s a powerful effort. The ‘keeper is well beaten but Németh isn’t, reacting well to head the ball off the line and away to safety.


50 mins: First shot of the half comes from Hungary. Once again, their captain Csiszár looks dangerous, finding space in behind all too easily. She cuts back and hits it from the edge of the box, but it’s a simple save for Brosnan.


47 mins: That’s a cracking long ball forward from Connolly to pick out Atkinson. She works space for a cross but, frustratingly for all involved, is flagged for offside for her run off Connolly’s pass.


45 mins: Right then. Time for the second half. Hungary have made two changes with Pápai and Zágor coming on. Eileen Gleeson sends the same XI back out unchanged.


Denise O’Sullivan had the best chance of the half but that aside, it is the visitors who have looked the more likely to open the scoring. Ireland have tried to create from out wide, with Heather Payne initially sending cutting balls in behind but as the half wore on, they have struggled to create any opportunities.

Plenty of work to do in the second half, with countless opportunities wasted by sluggish passing and a lack of quality in the final third.


Half-time: Ireland 0 Hungary 0


45+2 mins: Carusa again fails to link up with McCabe. This time popping up down the right, she powers past the full-back before pulling the ball back from the byline. McCabe is teeing up a strike but the pass is agonisingly behind her. With that, the half-time whistle blows.


Two minutes added on at the end of the first half.


44 mins: Poor from Ireland. Carusa has the ball in acres of space as Hungary give it away in midfield. Instead of driving forward, she sits and waits for McCabe to make a run on her outside. Everyone knows where the ball is going, including defender Turányi who beats McCabe to the pass and clears. Golden chance for a counter wasted.


42 mins: A brief moment of excitement for the crowd enduring the cold as McCabe makes a good run in behind. She has two green jerseys to aim for in the box but it’s a poor cross that is easily blocked. Ireland do get a corner out of it, where Hayes has a free header from 10 yards out but she can’t hit the target.


40 mins: Ireland remain committed to going wide and sending balls into the box but it continues to yield no result. This time with Connolly and Hayes forward after a free-kick, there is extra cavalry in the box but Hungary continue to deal with the crosses easily.


36 mins: CHANCE! That’s the best opportunity for either side. McCabe finds Payne out wide after winning it high up the pitch. Not for the first time, Payne plays O’Sullivan in behind and the Cork midfielder hits the target. It’s a quality save from Szocs to send the ball behind for a corner, but O’Sullivan will be wondering how she hasn’t scored.


33 mins: Half a chance for Hungary. Captain Csiszár throws herself at a corner swung into the box but makes poor contact, the ball rolling harmlessly wide. A better effort there from six yards out and Brosnan would have had work to do.


A frustrating first half-an-hour for Ireland.


30 mins: Better from Ireland. Payne and O’Sullivan link up well as the former swings in a cross for Carusa. It’s cleared to the edge of the box where Littlejohn takes aim, only for her volley to loop over the bar.


27 mins: Ireland switch after going predominantly down the right in the opening 20 minutes. Connolly and then Atkinson take their turns to swing balls in from the left but Carusa can’t get on the end of them. McCabe is furious after going down on the edge of the box only for the referee not to give a free-kick.


23 mins: Hungary definitely look the more likely to score at the moment. A loose pass in midfield sets the visitors in behind as Szabó finds space down the left. Littlejohn throws up an apologetic hand after giving the ball away but that does nothing to stop Szabó from putting a dangerous ball into the box. Fortunately for Ireland, no one is there to get on the end of it as the ball flashes across the face of goal and away to safety.


21 mins: Best chance for either side so far. Csiszár dances past Connolly down the right, rolling the ball through her legs before doing the same to the scrambling McCabe. It’s a fantastic piece of skill and Brosnan has to be alert in the Irish goal to tip the resulting shot over the bar.


20 mins: Ireland nearly get caught pressing high up the pitch as a clever ball from the back beats the onrushing O’Sullivan. Toland does the smart thing and kills the danger with a cynical foul. No card forthcoming.


18 mins: CHANCE! O’Sullivan gets a head on a cross from the left but it’s partially blocked by her marker before looping over the bar.


15 mins: Ireland continue to build into this one nicely . O’Sullivan nearly gets on the end of a through ball from Payne which would have had her in. Payne threatens again coming in off the right as Carusa nearly gets on the end of a through ball.


12 mins: Now Ireland threaten with their first shot of the contest. Carusa gets on the end of a loose passback and lets fly. The ‘keeper is beaten but the ball flies into the side netting.


7 mins: Fenyvesi threatens with the first shot on target of the match. Brosnan has to dive low to her right. She holds on comfortably.


3 mins: An early chance as Carusa tries to get on the end of a ball into the box. She can’t make contact but the ball does go behind for the first corner of the game. Hungary clear as the set-piece comes to nothing.


1 min: They’re underway in Tallaght! Hungary kick things off, immediately going long over the top but there’s no one that far forward to get on the end of it. Irish ‘keeper Courtney Brosnan has a rather simple first touch to simply gather the ball.


Anthems are done and it’s time for kick-off. Tallaght Stadium isn’t full, but it is hopping despite the cold.


The teams are out and shaking hands with Michael D Higgins. Of course, it should be said that while this is a dead rubber as far as Ireland are concerned, Hungary still have something to play for. They could still finish second in this group, meaning a playoff with a third place team in League A with the winner playing in the top tier next year.


Here is how tonight’s visitors, Hungary, line up:

Szocs; Kovács, Turányi, Németh, Németh, Papp, Csiszár, Zeller, Fenyvesi, Szabó, Vachter.

Subs: Siber, Pusztai, Kaján, Savanya, Sule, Nagy, Borók, Pápai, Nagy, Vida, Zágor, Schildkraut


Of course, the team news has one significant name missing: Amber Barrett. The hero of Hampden who scored the goal to send Ireland to the summer’s World Cup is not even in the squad, let alone the starting XI, for both tonight and Tuesday’s matches.

Here’s what Eileen Gleeson had to say on the decision to include a number of youngsters instead of Barrett: “It’s a football decision and we have a bigger talent pool that we are looking at right now and we have different objectives around transitioning young players through.

“Amber is also part of that talent pool but we also base our decisions on what type of combinations we might like to play, we base it on game-time, we base it on [the] level that players are playing at.”


The team news is in. Eileen Gleeson has made three changes to the side that beat Albania in October. Heather Payne, Ruesha Littlejohn and Izzy Atkinson are back in at the expense of Diane Caldwell, Sinead Farrelly and Abbie Larkin. Of course, for Littlejohn it is a first Ireland game since the World Cup.

It looks like a 3-4-1-2 with captain Katie McCabe playing alongside Kyra Carusa up front. Denise O’Sullivan will slot in behind them with Littlejohn and Toland just behind her in midfield. Izzy Atkinson and Heather Payne will act as wingbacks with Megan Connolly, Louise Quinn and Caitlin Hayes as the three centre-backs.


For a long time, we didn’t have an Irish manager who paid much attention at all to our league. I’ve talked before about the frustration we’ve all felt about how few home-based players were given a chance at senior international level down the years, so while this is a huge source of pride for Peamount, I think it’s brilliant for the league as a whole.

—  Karen Duggan

Peamount United captain Karen Duggan praised Eileen Gleeson for selecting from the League of Ireland when calling up Peanount players Erin McLaughlin, Ellen Dolan and Freya Healy. You can read Karen’s column here.


Of course, this is likely to be Eileen Gleeson’s final match at home in charge of Ireland. The interim manager has constantly batted away questions about her staying on, such has been Ireland’s form, but she insists she will return to her role as head of women’s and girl’s soccer with the FAI in January.

Speaking to the media this week, Gleeson suggested it will be sooner rather than later that we hear about the identity of her replacement, as Gavin Cummiskey reports.


Of course, this round of fixtures features two dead-rubbers for Ireland in terms of Nations League standings. Such has been there form since the World Cup - four wins out of four - top spot in their group has already been secured with tonight’s fixture and Tuesday’s clash away to Northern Ireland still to come. This means Ireland have already secured their promotion to League A, the top flight of European women’s football, for the next campaign.

The last time Ireland met tonight’s opponents, Tallaght, came in an away fixture back in September. Ireland kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 win on their travels.

All told, Ireland have been in refreshing attacking form after receiving criticism for their style of play under Vera Pauw. Granted, against weak opposition in their group, Ireland have scored 13 goals in four matches and only conceded once since the World Cup.


Good evening all and welcome to live updates of the final home international of 2023 - it’s Ireland vs Hungary. Nathan Johns here to tell you what’s what with roughly two hours to go until kick-off at Tallaght Stadium. Get in touch on Twitter/X (@nathanrjohns) to let us know your thoughts. We’ll start building up to the action with proceedings set to start at 7.30pm.