Slovakia vs Ireland, NTC Senec, Tuesday 5pm
Live coverage on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 4.30pm
Live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra
Track live on RTÉ.ie and the News Now app from 4.30pm. Match updates and footage on RTÉ Soccer Twitter and RTÉ Sport Facebook
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Hanging party when an opportunity arises
On Thursday evening, Vera Pauw warned her players not to throw a “party” and instead just participate in a “celebration” – she did not elaborate on the discrimination – on the grounds that Ireland may have work to do against Slovakia, with the possibility of avoiding the first round of qualifying still Technically out of the question, if results are on the way over the weekend.
So, it turns out. Ahead of Friday’s games, Ireland finished fourth in the table of top performers in second place, with the top three eventually set to skip the first round of the complex formula, and jump straight to the second round.
Belgium, Switzerland and Iceland sat ahead of Ireland in the queue, while Serbia and Austria – who are still in two games – had a chance to jump on girls in green with their toys in hand.
The possibilities were touched upon by Karen Duggan on Thursday’s live coverage of RTÉ’s matches, which decided the Norway-Belgium match as a pivotal match.
– RTÉ Soccer (RTEsoccer) September 1, 2022
One by one, across Friday and Saturday, the results all fell into Ireland’s way. Tova Hansen scored the winning goal in the second half for Norway as they beat Leuven.
Serbia lost 2-1 at home to Portugal, coming out of second place altogether. Then, perhaps unsurprisingly, the new European champions lost Austria 2-0, and Alessio Rosso and Nikita Paris scored in either half.
Ireland’s victory on Tuesday will secure their place as one of the top three finishers, meaning they will move on to “Round Two”, where they will wait for the winners of one of the three “Round One” matches disputed between the second matches – put teams 4-9 at the end of the group stage.
The Byzantine qualifier process has already been explored in greater depth by RTÉ’s Anthony Payne, which you can read about over here.
Opening the way for the Slovaks
Coming into high gear after their vital 2-1 win away from home in Helsinki – arguably the most important result of them all – the unfamiliar Ireland stumbled into a fight with fourth seed Slovakia Martina Ornovska playing on the ground up front. A goal in the first moments of the second half.
There were heart-rending echoes of past disappointments, and Ireland seemed on the verge of effectively undoing all Helsinki’s good work, until Katie McCabe volleyed a loose ball into the left corner of the penalty area and netted a low shot into the net. The guard is in the far corner.
The Slovaks are not threatening to qualify and there is no whole group at stake for them this week, but they have proven to be embarrassing opponents throughout the process, losing by a lone goal at home to top-ranked Sweden and taking a point from Finland. .
Their players are spread across different parts of Eastern Europe, while others are located in Austria, Spain, Italy and Sweden. The 23-year-old Churnovska, who plays for Slavia Prague, is the current season’s top scorer with four goals.
However, the trend in the current campaign is that Ireland has performed farther from its homeland, particularly against Sweden and Finland, than was the case in Tallaght.
Katie McCabe tied
The Arsenal star plays the captain, passing Denis O’Sullivan’s ball and hitting a low shot past the Slovakia goalkeeper.#rtesoccer #IRLSVK
– RTÉ Soccer (RTEsoccer) November 25, 2021
Talk to RTÉ Sport this weekIreland striker Heather Payne – after admitting it took a while to get through the play-off process – was quick to point out the Slovaks’ good results earlier in the season.
“We need to get three points there so we can get a higher ranking, have a better playoff and be in a better position. It’s great to have a place in a playoff secured no matter what.
“We know they are a good team,” Payne added. “They tied with Finland and we tied with them here [at Tallaght Stadium].
“We know it’s going to be another tough fight. They have nothing to lose. I know they can’t qualify, but sure why don’t they go out and give their all too?
“All our focus was on Finland, but it will definitely be a tough match and we will have to give our best.”
Ireland short four starters for tuesday. Vera Pau has suggested Niamh Fahe – in the stands on Thursday with a thigh injury – would recover in time for Slovakia but the Liverpool midfield heart is out.
Ruesha Littlejohn was withdrawn just before halftime against Finland due to a foot injury, and was replaced by eventual scorer Lily Agg.
Even more surprising is the absence of Megan Connolly, who left camp on Friday with a rib injury. The Brighton midfielder had gone into mid-defense to cover absentee Fahey, proving to be an integral part of Ireland’s defensive effort.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Finn was also out after receiving a second yellow card in season two on Thursday, and the French referee accused her of procrastinating too long for a throw-in – a call the Birmingham City player was deeply impressed with. unaffected.
In their absence, 17-year-old Shelburne defender Jesse Stapleton has been called up, along with West Ham’s Izzy Atkinson.
Follow the Slovakia vs Republic of Ireland match on our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, watch the live broadcast on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player or listen to the national commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra.