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Ireland Player Ratings As Pauw's Team Come Up Agonisingly Short Against Australia

Ireland Player Ratings As Pauw's Team Come Up Agonisingly Short Against Australia
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Australia 1-0 Ireland

Ireland's World Cup debut has ended in defeat, but Vera Pauw's side will come away from the game with their heads held high after a very good performance against Australia in Sydney.

It was a game that ultimately decided by one error, with the Irish giving away a cheap penalty early in the second half. They huffed and puffed for an equaliser in the final 20 minutes or so, but unfortunately could not find the breakthrough.

While this result was not ideal, it has given them plenty of encouragement going into the remainder of the tournament.

Here's how we rated the Ireland performances on the day.

Ireland player ratings vs Australia in World Cup opener

Courtney Brosnan - 7

It was expected that Brosnan would need to produce a heroic performance for Ireland in this game, although she actually had very little to do in the first half.


There was no saving the Australian penalty and she was otherwise untested.


Niamh Fahey - 7


Fahey was asked to do a bit of defending in the opening 20 minutes or so, something she dealt well with brilliantly.

That continued throughout the second half as the Galway native defended astutely. It was an excellent performance.



Louise Quinn - 8

Ireland were largely solid at the back in the opening half, although Louise Quinn was asked to clean up some awkward situations on a couple of occasions. The Birmingham City defender was an absolute rock at the back for her team.

She was absolutely superb and showed her importance to this team once again.



Megan Connolly - 7

Connolly had a couple of nervy moments at the back in the first half, finding herself under pressure on the ball on a few occasions.


Otherwise she played well, coming agonisingly close to equalising from a free-kick in injury time.


Heather Payne - 7


The majority of the of the Australian attacks came down her right flank in the early exchanges, although Payne dealt with them well.

She was a willing runner down the right flank throughout the game and offered an important outlet for the team. Unfortunately, she was often lacking in support.


Katie McCabe - 9

Katie McCabe was the one who tried to get Ireland advancing up the pitch, acting as a creative outlet both from deep and in advanced areas. It was clear that Australia were keeping a close eye on her.

The Dubliner came close to crossing the line with her physicality once or twice, but it was important in setting the tone for her team.

She came very close to scoring directly from a corner with 20 minutes to go, the closest Ireland came to scoring. Her team's best player on the night.



Ruesha Littlejohn - 7

While her impact on the ball was largely limited, Littlejohn was important in organising Ireland in the middle third and ensuring that the Aussies did not advance through the lines easily.

It was a good shift from the midfielder, who has had a season tarnished by injury. She will be very important for Ireland over the next couple of games.


Denise O'Sullivan - 7

O'Sullivan was fantastic on the ball in the opening half, often being asked to operate in tight spaces and doing so brilliantly. Playing in a deeper role than we have often seen with Ireland, she didn't quite have the chance to make an impact in the final third in the manner you would have hoped.

Off the ball, she provided quite a bit of steel in the middle third.


Sinead Farrelly - 6

Making her first competitive appearance for Ireland, Farrelly brought plenty of calmness on the ball in the early stages. She probably did not have the opportunity to showcase those skills as often as she would have liked due to Australia dominating possession in the first 45 minutes, but they were clear to see.

Unfortunately, he influence wained quite a bit in the second half as her lack of football caught up with her somewhat.


Marissa Sheva - 6

Another player making their competitive debut, Sheva was keen to press the Australians off the ball right from the first whistle. She was equally lively off the ball.

However, the manner in which she gave away the penalty early in the second half was incredibly poor.


Kyra Carusa - 6

Carusa pressed brilliantly up front, overturning the opposition on a few occasions. However, she sometimes lacked quality on the ball once she received it.

On too many occasions, Ireland found themselves in dangerous positions only for the pass to be misplaced. Unfortunately, she did not have a huge impact in the penalty area.



Abbie Larkin - 8

Breaking Gary Kelly's record as the youngest Irish player to feature at a World Cup by coming on on the hour mark, Larkin was very lively after her introduction. She did her best to stretch the Aussie defence and caused them quite a bit of grief.

She certainly made a strong case for her inclusion from the start against Canada.


Lucy Quinn - 7

Quinn contributed to an increase in Ireland's attacking output after coming on with half an hour to go, providing some excellent service


Izzie Atkinson - N/A

Not on long enough to rate.

SEE ALSO: Fans Furious Over RTÉ Failings During Ireland World Cup Debut

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