Amber Barrett stepped off the bench to send the Republic of Ireland to the Women’s World Cup for the very first time with a 1-0 playoff victory over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday evening.
The substitute was on target 18 minutes from time to seal a famous victory for Vera Pauw’s side and book their place in Australia and New Zealand next summer.
It was disappointment for Scotland, who saw a spot kick saved in the first half and miss out on a place in a second successive major tournament, having failed to qualify for Euro 2022.
Scotland had gotten the better of a good Austria side to set up Tuesday’s encounter with the Republic of Ireland – who were missing key players Leanne Kiernan, Jess Ziu and Ruesha Littlejohn through injury.
The hosts had a golden opportunity to take a first half lead after Martha Thomas’ effort was handled onto the bar by Niamh Fahey, but Courtney Brosnan saved magnificently to keep out Caroline Weir’s spot kick.
Megan Campbell’s long throws were wreaking havoc for the Republic of Ireland, with Sophie Howard twice clearing off the line after one of the Liverpool defender’s trademark launches had caused chaos in the Scotland penalty box as the first half finished goalless.
The Republic of Ireland took the lead with 18 minutes remaining. Denise O’Sullivan sent Barrett scampering away with a fabulous pass, and the substitute burst away from the Scotland backline and found the bottom corner.
Brosnan did well to keep out an Erin Cuthbert effort as the clock ticked down and Rachel Corsie nodded wide in the dying stages as the Republic of Ireland saw the game out to make history.
“i can’t actually believe it,” Katie McCabe told BBC Sport. “It doesn’t feel real, it hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just so proud of the girls, the performance. It wasn’t pretty tonight at all.
“Unbelievable save from Courtney for the penalty, we put our bodies on the line, we worked for each other, we ran for each other. That’s what this team is all about…unbelievable.”
Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration
Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.
The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.
Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:
“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”
Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.
“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”
Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!
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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player
Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.
Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.
On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.
It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.
Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.
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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.
Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.
He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.
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