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Four Ireland Players That Stood Out Despite World Cup Sendoff Loss To France

Four Ireland Players That Stood Out Despite World Cup Sendoff Loss To France
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Gary Connaughton reporting from Tallaght Stadium

Ireland 0-3 France

The result in Ireland's World Cup sendoff was not what we hoped for, with the Girls in Green falling to a 3-0 defeat at home to France. Playing in front of a record Tallaght crowd, a couple of defensive lapses at key moments proved to be crucial.

On a night where Vera Pauw selected a team that was likely to be very close to the one that plays in the tournament opener against Australia, it was always going to be interesting to see how Ireland fared against top class opposition in this fixture only a couple of weeks out from that fixture.

While the result was a disappointing one, there were some positives to take away.

Here are four Ireland players that caught the eye in spite of the scoreline.

Ireland players that stood out against France

Marissa Sheva


Making her first home appearance, Sheva worked hard in closing down the opposition out of possession throughout the game. That is a hugely important trait in this Ireland side, but it was far from her only contribution.

The forward was very impressive in attack, looking like Ireland's most dangerous offensive threat for most of the game.

She possesses the type of pace that Ireland have been calling out for, something that could prove important at the World Cup as they play on the break against the talented teams in their group. Her linkup play needs some work, although she showed glimpses at what she is capable of in that regard also.


Against a very good France team, Sheva showed what she can do at a high level. She is a nailed on starter once the tournament gets underway.


Louise Quinn 


Louise Quinn was an imposing presence at the back for Ireland, dealing well with a number of opposition attacks. She perhaps would have hoped to have done slightly better on the second France goal, although she more than made up for that with some brilliant interventions in the second half.

The Birmingham City woman has long been a rock in the defence for Ireland, with this game being no exception despite conceding three goals. The only disappointing aspect of her performance was that she did not have more of an impact from set-pieces in the opposition penalty area, something that will be key to Ireland's hopes of breaking down quality teams at the World Cup.

The scoreline was not a flattering one, but Quinn was brilliant yet again.



Sinead Farrelly

Making her debut on Irish soil, Farrelly's calmness on the ball was noticeable right form the off. She played with intent in possession whenever she got the opportunity, laying on some beautiful passes for her teammates.


She was perhaps overconfident on occasion, getting caught out in dangerous areas in her own half after pondering on the ball. In saying that, this style of play is the reason she was brought into the international setup.

Vera Pauw was hugely keen to bring her on board and this game showed why. Her creativity in possession is something that Ireland have lacked at times in the middle third and she will be key in creating scoring opportunities in Australia.

The midfielder tired somewhat as the game went on, but her quality was clear to see. She is a big addition to the World Cup squad.



Ruesha Littlejohn

Littlejohn usually acted as the holder in the Irish midfield in possession, while she did not shirk the tackles whenever a French player came into her vicinity. In possession, she was very tidy and always took the right option.

She has massively struggled with injuries this season, meaning there was always going to be question marks surrounding her fitness in the buildup to the World Cup. Having followed up a good 45 minutes against Zambia with another strong showing here, such concerns can now be put to bed.

Littlejohn looks to have shaken off any of the rust remaining from those injury issues. That is brilliant news for Ireland, who will rely on her steel and leadership in the middle third against the likes of Australia and Canada.

She now looks a shoe-in to start that first game.

SEE ALSO: Fahey’s Clever Nickname For Heather Payne, And The Tight Knit Nature Of The Irish WNT

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