The first of Ireland’s World Cup qualfication double-header with Norway didn’t go at all according to plan on Friday evening.
Colin Bell’s Girls in Green knew they’d be up against it against a very strong Norway side in Tallaght in front of a 3,000-strong crowd – and a 2-0 defeat on the night has left their hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup in France hanging by a thread.
? FT: #IRLWNT?? 0-2 Norway
A brace from Lisa-Marie Utland either side of the break seals victory for the away side. Ireland face Norway again on Tuesday in Stavanger!
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) June 8, 2018
Ireland drew a crowd of just over 3,000 for the occasion, but Ireland were unable to capitalise on their bright start when Lisa-Marie Utland put Norway ahead midway through the first half.
Norway grew in confidence from there, and added a second after the restart to put the game beyond the home side’s reach. As a result, Norway have now leapfrogged Ireland into the playoff spot and look well on course to be the Netherlands’ main challengers for top spot in Group 3.
Crucially, they also have a game in hand on Bell’s side – putting even more pressure on Ireland to get a result in Stavanger on Tuesday night to stand any chance of keeping the dream alive for that bit longer.