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'We Didn't Collapse' Pauw Relishing Upcoming Sweden World Cup Qualifier

'We Didn't Collapse' Pauw Relishing Upcoming Sweden World Cup Qualifier
By Jonathan Byrne
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When it comes to finding inspiration for the Republic of Ireland's trip to Sweden on April 12th, Vera Pauw doesn't have to look too far.

The Girls in Green welcomed the number 2 ranked team in the world to Tallaght Stadium back in October and suffered a narrow 1-0 loss.

Sweden look like they'll run away with the top spot in Group A of World Cup qualifying, but it's not putting Pauw and her team off seeking a result in enemy territory.

"The only way to approach it is that we all realise the resistance that we get, that we have felt the resistance that we will face," Pauw told Sky Sports.

"It's not that we want to sit back, but I'm afraid that Sweden will push us back. We will slot in a boys' game into that camp, more or less (based) on the pressure of Sweden. So it will be a huge pressure."

The Republic of Ireland have put in a spirited effort so far in qualifying, as they sit second in their group, one point clear of third-placed Finland.

After the Swedish challenge, they travel to Georgia and host Finland, before rounding out their group games with an away trip to Slovakia.


21 October 2021; Stina Blackstenius of Sweden in action against Katie McCabe of Republic of Ireland during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 qualifier group A match between Republic of Ireland and Sweden at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

But a point, at a minimum, would be a huge advantage for Ireland to gain in Sweden. Given their resolute performance in their last encounter, Pauw has seen what can work.


"What this team has is they never collapse. We have come back so often after a setback. This team will be strong. I think that is the key thing to get you qualifying."

"Tou never collapse, no matter what happens. If we would have collapsed from the own goal (in the home game), then it would have been 5-0 at home. But we didn't collapse."

Pauw On Qualifying For A Major Tournament

The Republic of Ireland have never qualified for a major tournament, but they did come close to making it to this summer's European Championships.


They fell to third in their qualifying group at the hands of Ukraine. Pauw reckons a change in qualification systems is needed going forward.

"Very simple - not having only the number two in the play-offs, but also three. So they have crossovers. Then you get the best teams," she suggested.

"Sometimes I've got the feeling I'm the only one seeing this, because when I speak to other coaches or managers, they say, oh yeah, that would be better."


"You can put (the play-offs) in one window. If you do the crossover, it doesn't take an extra day, it just doesn't. I don't understand why it's not done."

See Also: Breaking: Stephen Kenny Signs New Contract To EURO 2024

Stephen Kenny has signed a new deal as Ireland manager through to the end of EURO 2024

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