Ireland World Cup dreams end with Canada defeat

Ireland World Cup dreams end with Canada defeat

Ireland won’t be advancing from their World Cup group after losing 2-1 to Canada.

Ireland have fallen to a second consecutive Women’s World Cup defeat despite a spirited performance against Canada.

Ireland took the lead after just four minutes when the excellent Katie McCabe scored directly from a corner, but goals either side of half-time helped Canada recover from a slow start and claim all three points.

Ireland started brightly as the electric attacking play of Kyra Carusa drove them into the Canadian third time and time again.

Firmly on the backfoot, Canada conceded an early corner, Katie McCabe took her position by the right-hand flag and then – remarkably – her in-swinger found its way into the far-side of the Canadian net.

Strong first half from Ireland against Canada.

McCabe’s goal was the first goal ever scored by an Irish women’s team at a World Cup but the team were thinking more about the present than the past as they continued to perform admirably for the rest of the half. Professional and determined.

Sinead Farrely, Ruesha Littlejohn and others drove on an energised Irish effort and they only grew in confidence with every persistent attack.

Canada’s Chelsea defender Kadeisha Buchanan had a torrid time at the back trying to contain the Irish attack and Ireland will have regrets that they failed to double their lead during an extended purple patch.

Cruelly however – and as so often happens at this level – the favourites took their first real attempt of the game just before half-time and it resulted in a goal; the ball deflecting into the back of Courtney Brosnan’s net off of Megan Connolly.

Canada improve in second half.

Ireland had to dust themselves down at the break but Canada were re-energised by their surprise equaliser.

The warning came just minutes into the second forty-five when Brosnan was called into action to make a classy save.

And the blow came shortly after when Adriana Leon poked the ball into the back of the Irish net after some lax defending.

Pauw and her management team hoped the introduction of Abbie Larkin and Amber Barrett would inspire an Irish equaliser – but chances proved far harder to come by in the second half than in the first.

In the end, the Canadians held on for a 2-1 victory to leave Ireland ruing their luck and perhaps their clinicality.