Finland 1 Ireland 2: Republic of Ireland player ratings

Running the rule over the Republic after they earn their first qualification win in Helsinki

Niamh Fahey and Denise O’Sullivan celebrate Ireland’s win over Finland. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/inpho

Niamh Fahey and Denise O’Sullivan celebrate Ireland’s win over Finland. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/inpho

 

1 Courtney Brosnan (Everton)

Despite some shaky moments, the US-born ’keeper delivered another solid outing as the last line of defence. Was beaten by Adelina Engman’s well-worked equaliser, but produced a crucial late save from Emma Koivisto. Rating: 7

3 Savannah McCarthy (Galway)

The least experienced member of the Irish back-three with just seven caps to her name, McCarthy consistently frustrated the Finnish attack by making a series of defensive interventions. Rating: 7

Courtney Brosnan made a crucial late save to deny Finland in Helsinki. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/Inpho
Courtney Brosnan made a crucial late save to deny Finland in Helsinki. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/Inpho

4 Louise Quinn (Birmingham City)

After the disappointment of her own goal in last week’s narrow reversal to Sweden, the Blessington woman responded with a typically assured performance at the heart of the Irish rearguard. Rating: 7

5 Niamh Fahey (Liverpool)

14 years on from her international bow, Fahey remains a vital cog in this Irish side. In a frantic finale, she cleared a Finland effort off the line to ensure the visitors emerged victorious. Rating: 8

6 Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Got Ireland up and running with a supremely crafted free-kick on nine minutes. Produced a massive shift in midfield to significantly reduce the influence of the Finnish engine room. Rating: 7

10 Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage)

Ireland’s match-winner in the second-half with a close-range header, O’Sullivan was at her influential best throughout. Despite being put under immense physical pressure, she provided creativity and craft in the final third. Rating: 8

Katie McCabe was a constant threat on the left for Ireland. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/Inpho
Katie McCabe was a constant threat on the left for Ireland. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/Inpho

11 Katie McCabe (Arsenal)

A constant threat up the left-flank, the Ireland captain is currently operating at the peak of her powers and was agonisingly close to grabbing a third Irish goal on a couple of occasions. Rating: 8

13 Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United)

Called out of retirement in the spring of 2020, O’Gorman has re-established herself under Vera Pauw’s watch. One of two domestic players in the side, she produced a no-nonsense display from right-wingback. Rating: 7

14 Heather Payne (Florida State University)

Ireland’s forwards were starved of possession for large stretches of the contest but, through sheer and grit determination, the tireless Payne dug out the cross that led to O’Sullivan’s decisive goal. Rating: 7

15 Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City)

On her third international appearance, Quinn toiled to good effect in attack alongside Payne. Made way for Rianna Jarrett in the 75th-minute having played her part in getting Ireland into a winning position. Rating: 7

Lucy Quinn’s cross set up Ireland’s winner against Finland in Helsinki. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/Inpho
Lucy Quinn’s cross set up Ireland’s winner against Finland in Helsinki. Photograph: Kalle Parkkinen/Inpho

17 Jamie Finn (Birmingham City)

Completing the strong Birmingham contingent in the team, Finn epitomised Ireland’s endeavours on the night. With Connolly employed in a deeper midfield role, she made a number of intelligent runs into the opposition box. Rating: 7

Subs

Given Finland were pushing hard for a leveller when she was introduced, most of Rianna Jarrett’s work was out of possession. Nonetheless, the Wexford native executed her on-field responsibilities with minimal fuss. Rating: 6

Manager

Keeping faith with the same side that lost out to Sweden, the subsequent result and performance fully vindicated that decision from Vera Pauw. Arguably the biggest win of her tenure to date. Rating: 8

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