Whisper it quietly: Katie McCabe is very good at football.
As Ireland battled to a huge win over Finland in Helsinki on Tuesday night, McCabe was front and centre of Irish Twitter's attention, as fans of the girls in green rushed to praise another immense performance from the captain.
Katie McCabe once again outstanding in Helsinki
It was a big night for McCabe and an even bigger one for Ireland. After a narrow and disappointing loss to Sweden in Tallaght last week, the game against Finland - likely to be Ireland's main rivals for second place in the group - took on an even bigger billing than it already had.
The Irish team rose to the occasion with a battling performance to take a fully deserved 2-1 win. Manager Vera Pauw praised the team's resilience in her post-match interview, saying that the team's attitude had impressed her greatly.
There was one Irish player who stood above the rest, though, as Katie McCabe once again proved her class with another amazing performance. The Arsenal star has had some incredible moments so far this season but this will surely be a personal highlight - especially if Ireland go on to qualify for a first ever World Cup.
She spoke to RTÉ after the game and praised her teammates' performance - and explained that she let Megan Connolly take the free kick she scored early in the game because she "backed herself".
Ireland captain Katie McCabe on the importance of building on the win over Finland with two home games to come in the @FIFAWWC qualifiers #FINIRL #RTEsoccer pic.twitter.com/O00SXJJb3T
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) October 26, 2021
Even if she passed up the opportunity to score from that early free-kick, McCabe's performance drew praise from the swathes of Irish fans who took to Twitter during the game.
Great result and performance…. Katie McCabe 🤯 https://t.co/GNAG8V1jOG
— Cian O'Connor (@Cianoff) October 26, 2021
Katie McCabe today!! #FINIRL #COYGIG #FINIRE ☘ pic.twitter.com/DwXKQxSHgd
— Monaghan GAA Supporters (@MonaghanGAAFans) October 26, 2021
Katie McCabe is a marvellous footballer, she's a joy to watch. #COYGIG
— Colin Mullen (@ColMullen) October 26, 2021
she really is the best itw huh
— Akram (Katie McCabe’s Cyber Operations Specialist) (@akramhashem1) October 26, 2021
What a player Katie McCabe is
Not ladies player, not womens player…PLAYer, outright baller, leader, talisman, a special talent.
— Green-Blood (@Green___Blood) October 26, 2021
One element of McCabe's performance that drew particular praise was her reaction to the aggression of the Finnish players towards her. Her amazing performances for Arsenal this season have clearly put a target on her back, and she was targeted by the Finnish side for much of the game.
She was off the field injured when Finland scored their equaliser, something which she said she found extremely frustrating in her post-match interview. She responded in style, though, and many noted that she looked buoyed to push on even more after the knocks she received.
If you have a plan to take Katie McCabe out of the game, you better make sure you do it otherwise you will just push her to play even better (and she can give it back too). https://t.co/bKSq8Op0tA
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) October 26, 2021
Irish football has a true star on its hands with Katie McCabe, and she proved once again on Tuesday night just how good she is.