Ireland to prepare for Sweden qualifier with Spanish tournament

Three games for girls in green before they continue their world cup qualification bid

The Republic of Ireland Women’s squd will return to action next month at an invitational tournament in Spain.

The Pinatar Cup will offer an opportunity for Vera Pauw’s side to prepare for April’s World Cup qualifier away to Sweden. Ireland currently sit second in group A.

Seven other teams will compete alongside Ireland in Spain, as Belgium, Hungary, Poladn, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia and Wales also travel.

Ireland will play Poland in their first game on Wednesday, February 16th with the winner meeting either Hungary or Russia in a semi-final game on Saturday, February 19th.

The final game of the tournament will be played on Tuesday, February 22nd with Ireland’s opponent dependent on how their semi-final ends. They could either be in the main tournament final or else in a tie for 3rd place, a duel for 5th place or a contest for 7th place.

There is an agreement in place that Ireland will not play Slovakia in the third game - if drawn together - due to being in the same World Cup Qualifying Group.

Vera Pauw has welcomed the opportunity for her players to test themselves against different opposition ahead the resumption of the qualifiers:

“It is important that we get together as a squad and play at least one game before we take on Sweden in April. This tournament provides us with three games so that is ideal for our preparation to work with the players and give them game-time,” said Pauw.

“Our focus is very much on the qualifying game against Sweden in April, but we plan on giving players opportunities to play in these games and that will help us in our overall preparations.”

2022 Pinatar Cup (all times Irish time)

16th February

Match A1 | Wales v Scotland, Pinatar Arena, KO 16:30

Match A2 | Slovakia v Belgium, Pinatar Arena, KO 19:30

Match B1 | Republic of Ireland v Poland, La Manga, KO 14:30

Match B2 | Hungary v Russia, La Manga, KO 19:30

19th February

A3 | Winner A1 v Winner A2, Pinatar Arena, KO 19:30

A4 | Runner-up A2 v Runner-up A1, Pinatar Arena, KO 14:30

B3 | Winner B2 v Winner B1, La Manga, KO 19:30

B4 | Runner-up B2 v Runner-up B1, La Manga, KO 14:30

22nd February

Final | Winner A3 v Winner B3, Pinatar Arena, KO 19:30

3rd Place | Runner-up A3 v Runner-up B3, La Manga, KO 19:30

5th Place | Winner A4 v Winner B4, Pinatar Arena, KO 14:30

7th Place | Runner-up A4 v Runner-up B4, La Manga, KO 14:30

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