Katie McCabe Laughed Off Slovakia's Attempts To 'Piss Off' Ireland As Play-Off Bye Secured

Katie McCabe Laughed Off Slovakia's Attempts To 'Piss Off' Ireland As Play-Off Bye Secured

Gary Connaughton By Gary Connaughton

Gary Connaughton reporting from Senec, Slovakia

After a long campaign, Ireland capped off the group aspect of their World Cup qualification in style with a victory over Slovakia this evening.

It was a game they entered knowing that a victory would ensure they receive a bye in the first round of the play-offs next month, with Denise O'Sullivan's goal proving to be the difference between the sides.

There were a number of standout performances on the night, Katie McCabe included.

It was clear that Slovakia had targeted the Arsenal woman, acting as the subject of some rather nasty tackles over the course of the game. While she rightly remonstrated with the referee throughout, she did manage to keep her cool and play a massive part in seeing out the result.

When asked by the media after the game about how Slovakia treated her, the Ireland captain said she didn't let if affect her mood on a huge night for the team.

F*****g kicked up and down the pitch, but I'm great...

Maybe, I guess so (she is being targeted by other teams). They obviously did their due diligence on us pre-game and look to maybe try to keep myself and Denise quiet. Kick me, try and get in my head. I rise to that, I enjoy getting kicked around the pitch, it brings me up a level.

I think they were just.. I don't know. For us it was important for us to start better than we did on Thursday night, be more proactive. A bit more front foot, and you seen the release of Megan and Harriet on either wing to take the pressure off the midfield. I think that worked really well.

It was important for us to start right. Second half they came out and looked to kick us, looked to - excuse the french - piss us off. It was up to us to stay in control, keep the head and let the football do the talking.

6 September 2022; Grace Moloney, Katie McCabe and Denise O'Sullivan celebrate after the match between Slovakia and Republic of Ireland at National Training Centre in Senec, Slovakia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland were certainly the better of the two teams on the night, although the hosts did apply some pressure late on. When they threw everything at Vera Pauw's side, they more than answered the questions they were asked.


Their place in the play-offs were already secured, but this result was still a huge one. While the lack of a big home crowd did make it a slightly different occasion, Katie McCabe was thrilled to be able to celebrate with those that did make the journey to Slovakia.

It was a different feeling on Thursday. Thursday was more of a relief that we actually got the play-off, today was just about that bonus of skipping the first round.

It’s just enjoying it with out travelling fans. There is people here having pints with Ireland jerseys on, flags, kids, it’s brilliant to see. I know there is only a couple of hundred of them, but it’s brilliant to see the support.

We’re out in Slovakia and people are cheering us on. I’m sure everyone at home was cheering us on as well.

Focus will now swiftly turn to the play-offs, with Ireland eagerly awaiting to see who they will be paired with un the draw on Friday.

The win tonight means they will have one less game to play, although they could still end up coming up against a very strong opponent.


Katie McCabe isn't too worried about who does get pulled out of the pot. She knows that her team will give their all to reach the tournament in Australia & New Zealand next year, hopefully ushering in a golden era for women's football in Ireland in the process.

Whoever comes out, that’s the luck of the draw isn’t it? It’s a cup final at the end of the day. Obviously we’ve done ourselves a bit of justice and got that bonus of missing the first round of the play-offs which was our target tonight. We’ll see...

It’s a massive boost, it’s one less game. It’s massive, we can fully focus on the one game we have whoever we are drawn against. We will just give it our all really...

You see what The Lionesses have done in the Euros over the summer, them putting the WSL on the map. We want to put the Republic of Ireland on the map. We want to be competing against the best teams in Europe and the best teams in the world.

We want to give people tough games, we’re not going to make it easy for people to beat us. I think we’ve shown that by getting four clean sheets in the last four games. That’s a credit to our defence and goalkeeper.

Ireland will no doubt be a team that many will want to avoid in the play-offs. As McCabe points out, they have shown over the course of this campaign that they are an incredibly tough team to beat.

Hopefully that will continue next month when a place in the World Cup could be on the line.

SEE ALSO: Ireland Player Ratings As Denise O'Sullivan Goal Hands Team Crucial Win In Slovakia


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