WNT | Review of 2022
The route to booking a place at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup also included a jump to a highest ever position on the FIFA Rankings table, a highest ever home attendance and a run of six straight clean sheets.
Vera Pauw’s squad grew stronger as the year went on, with six players making their debuts, and that bodes well for their preparations for the World Cup. It feels like we have not yet seen the best of this team.
The year started in Spain at the Pinatar Cup, where Ireland impressed despite making many changes. Certainly the performance against Wales stood out and it proved to be a worthwhile camp.
However, it was all about the trip to Gothenburg in April to take on the top seeds in their World Cup qualifying group. An early goal from Katie McCabe and an immense display by goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan saw them earn what would turn out to be a crucial point.
Pauw then took her players to Turkey for an extended camp, which included a friendly win over the Philippines, to prepare for their game away to Georgia. It turned out to be a scoreline that equalled their highest ever away win.
From there Ireland went on a roll, beating Finland to secure a Qualifying Play-Off spot and then Slovakia to ensure they would go straight to the Second Round. Then it took a special finish from Amber Barrett to get past Scotland and realise the dream of qualifying for the World Cup.
To round it off, they eased to victory over Morocco with Louise Quinn scoring on her 100th appearance. It was a nice way to cap off a superb year.
16/02 | Republic of Ireland 2-1 Poland (Pinatar Cup)
19/02 | Russia 1-0 Republic of Ireland (Pinatar Cup)
22/02 | Wales 0-1 Republic of Ireland (Pinatar Cup)
12/04 | Sweden 1-1 Republic of Ireland (FIFA World Cup Qualifier)
19/06 | Republic of Ireland 1-0 Philippines (International Friendly)
27/06 | Georgia 0-9 Republic of Ireland (FIFA World Cup Qualifier)
01/09 | Republic of Ireland 1-0 Finland (FIFA World Cup Qualifier)
06/09 | Slovakia 0-1 Republic of Ireland (FIFA World Cup Qualifier)
04/10 | Scotland 0-1 Republic of Ireland (FIFA World Cup Qualifying Play-Off)
14/11 | Republic of Ireland 4-0 Morocco (International Friendly)
10 – Katie McCabe
9 – Courtney Brosnan, Denise O’Sullivan, Louise Quinn
8 – Heather Payne
7 – Diane Caldwell, Niamh Fahey, Lucy Quinn, Jess Ziu
6 – Lily Agg, Amber Barrett, Jamie Finn, Ruesha Littlejohn
5 – Megan Connolly, Abbie Larkin, Chloe Mustaki
4 – Megan Campbell, Kyra Carusa, Leanne Kiernan
3 – Áine O’Gorman
2 – Savannah McCarthy
1 – Isibeal Atkinson, Eve Badana, Aoibheann Clancy, Roma McLaughlin, Hayley Nolan, Eabha O’Mahony, Claire O’Riordan, Stephanie Roche, Harriet Scott, Jessie Stapleton, Claire Walsh, Megan Walsh
5 – Katie McCabe
4 – Louise Quinn
3 – Denise O’Sullivan
2 – Lily Agg
1 – Amber Barrett, Megan Campbell, Kyra Carusa, Megan Connolly, Niamh Fahey, Abbie Larkin, Lucy Quinn
7 – Courtney Brosnan