PREVIEW | Belgium v WNT
There were a lot of good points to take away from last Thursday’s narrow 1-0 loss to Denmark in Tallaght Stadium and they will be looking to build on those in the King Baudouin Stadium.
Belgium (17th) are 14 places above Vera Pauw’s team (31st) in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings and have qualified for the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championships. They should be a strong opponent for this international friendly contest.
Goalkeeper Marie Hourihan (hip) and defender Niamh Farrelly (foot) have dropped out of the squad, but midfielder Ruesha Littlejohn has recovered from a foot injury.
All of the players & staff have tested negative for COVID-19. They each underwent testing before coming into camp, then in the team base on Monday, April 5th, again on Wednesday, April 7th, and again, in Brussels, on Friday, April 9th.
Republic of Ireland Manager Vera Pauw
“When we were planning for this international window we had the choice of many teams to play against but we wanted to test ourselves. It is important that we continue to grow as a team and that will only happen by playing against top quality opposition on a regular basis.
“We learnt a lot from the Denmark game and we can be pleased with many aspects of our play. Now we come up against a very good Belgium team and it’s up to us to raise our game and show that we can match them on the pitch.
“These friendly games present us with an opportunity to spend more time working together as a unit, but also to have a look at other players. We will give game-time to other players against Belgium as there are many players who have been patient and deserve a chance to play.
“We are now building towards the 2023 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign, which will start in September, so these two friendly games are crucial in our preparation for that. We are looking forward to playing against Belgium and putting into practice the hard work we have been doing on the training pitch.”
Republic of Ireland
Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Grace Moloney (Reading), Eve Badana (DLR Waves)
Defenders: Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Aine O'Gorman (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Birmingham City), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Alli Murphy (London City Lionesses), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal)
Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Goalkeepers: Nicky Evrard (KAA Gent), Lisa Lichtfus (Standard Liege), Justien Odeurs (Anderlecht)
Defenders: Julie Biesmans (PSV Eindhoven), Laura Deloose (Anderlecht), Isabelle Iliano (Club Brugge), Amber Tysiak (Oud-Heverlee Leuven), Charlotte Tison (Anderlecht), Davinia Vanmechelen (Standard Liege)
Midfielders: Justine Vanhaevermaet (LSK Kvinner), Lenie Onzia (Oud-Heverlee Leuven), Kassandra Missipo (Anderlecht), Marie Minnaert (Club Brugge), Aster Janssens (Genk), Silke Vanwynsberghe (KAA Gent), Sarah Wijnants (Anderlecht)
Forwards: Janice Cayman (Lyon), Tina De Caigny (Anderlecht), Laura De Neve (Anderlecht), Feli Delacauw (KAA Gent), Hannah Eurlings (Oud-Heverlee Leuven), Jarne Teulings (Anderlecht), Chloe Vande Velde (KAA Gent), Tessa Wullaert (Anderlecht)
Republic of Ireland
Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (2 caps / 1 clean sheet), Grace Moloney (4 caps / 0 clean sheets), Eve Badana (3 caps / 0 clean sheets)
Defenders: Keeva Keenan (3 caps / 0 goals), Claire Walsh (2 caps / 0 goals), Louise Quinn (83 caps / 11 goals), Diane Caldwell (80 caps / 3 goals), Claire O'Riordan (15 caps / 0 goals), Niamh Fahey (93 caps / 0 goals), Aine O'Gorman (106caps / 13 goals)
Midfielders: Jamie Finn (3 caps / 0 goals), Denise O'Sullivan (81 caps / 11 goals), Megan Connolly (26 caps / 1 goal), Ruesha Littlejohn (59 caps / 6 goals), Ellen Molloy (3 caps / 0 goals), Hayley Nolan (0 caps / 0 goals), Alli Murphy (0 caps / 0 goals), Emily Whelan (4 caps / 0 goals), Katie McCabe (49 caps / 10 goals)
Forwards: Heather Payne (15 caps / 0 goals), Amber Barrett (21 caps / 2 goals), Rianna Jarrett (14 caps / 1 goal), Kyra Carusa (1 cap / 0 goals)
October 27, 1980: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Belgium – International Friendly
October 17, 1981: Belgium 4-1 Republic of Ireland – International Friendly
March 31, 1996 – Republic of Ireland 0-1 Belgium – EURO 1997 Qualifier
May 4, 1996 – Belgium 5-1 Republic of Ireland – EURO 1997 Qualifier
January 20, 2019: Belgium 1-0 Republic of Ireland – International Friendly
Belgium v Republic of Ireland
Sunday, April 11
King Baudouin Stadium
LIVE on RTÉ Player
Referee: Lizzy Van Der Helm (Netherlands)
Game Hashtag: #BELIRL
Team Hashtag: #COYGIG | #WeAreOne