After coming away with a draw in their last game against Slovakia, Vera Pauw’s team knew that a positive result was necessary with the manager calling it a “must-win” game. Not only did the Girls in Green come away with the victory, they also became record-breakers by scoring the most number of goals for any Irish team (Men’s or Women’s) in a competitive fixture.
The Tallaght Stadium record was a 9-0 win against Montenegro where both Katie McCabe and Denise O’Sullivan came on from the bench.
A few changes from the last Ireland line up saw Kyra Carusa and Ruesha Littlejohn coming back into the starting eleven after impressive performances coming off the bench against Slovakia. The experienced Diane Caldwell started in defence alongside Jess Ziu who got her first senior start in the green jersey.
The Girls in Green started the game as they meant to go on, taking control with precision passing and constantly switching the play. The first goal came in the fourth minute when McCabe whipped a dangerous ball in from the left hand side with Kyra Carusa almost getting a touch on it, but the ball came off the Georgian defender and into her own goal.
Carusa deservedly got her goal in the 21st minute after a lovely McCabe corner was headed on by Louise Quinn and Carusa managed to get on the end of it. Both Lucy Quinn and Denise O’Sullivan got on the scoresheet before the first half came to an end to give Ireland a well-deserved comfortable lead.
The second half was no different to the first, Ireland continued to dominate in all areas of the pitch and the goal tally continued with a beautiful Denise O’Sullivan strike into the top left corner in the 58th minute. O’Sullivan finished off her hat trick soon after with a fantastic header from another classic Katie McCabe delivery.
Captain and Player of the Match McCabe finally got on the scoresheet in the 70th minute after the ball was handled in the box by Maiko Bebia who got her second yellow. Ireland were awarded a penalty which McCabe coolly struck home. McCabe got her second of the game soon after and the goals continued with Saoirse Noonan scoring her first senior goal. Amber Barrett and Megan Connolly both got on the scoresheet late on in an unforgettable night in Tallaght Stadium.
A remarkable win for the Girls in Green and a fantastic way to finish 2021. Their next World Cup Qualifier is away to Sweden on April 12th, 2022.
Republic of Ireland: Brosnan; Caldwell, Louise Quinn, Fahey, Ziu (Barrett 75); Connolly, Littlejohn (Grant 67); McCabe, O’Sullivan, Lucy Quinn (McLaughlin 67); Carusa (Noonan 75).
Georgia: Sukhashvili; Kalandadze, Sutidze, Tatuashvili, Khaburdzania (Bolkvadze 46); Pasikashvili (Dzadzua 41), Tsotseria (Chkhartishvili 64), Danelia, Bebia, Cheminava (Janikashvili 81); Tchkonia.
Referee: Jurgita Macikunyte (Lithuania).