Captain McCabe believes Girls in Green showed great character with Slovakia draw

Thu, Nov 25 2021
Katie McCabe celebrates her goal against Slovakia

Katie McCabe celebrates her goal against Slovakia Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Macdara Ferris reports from Tallaght Stadium

The Irish skipper Katie McCabe reckons it was a case of a good point earned rather than two points dropped even if they were disappointed as the Republic of Ireland came from behind to draw 1-1 with Slovakia on Tuesday.

It was the captain herself who grabbed the equalising goal – her 11th international strike – as Ireland kept in the hunt for World Cup qualification thanks to what McCabe believes is the strong character shown by the team and the strong support from the Irish crowd.

“It is a good point especially with that chance that Louise (Quinn) blocked at the end,” said McCabe speaking to the media on the side of the pitch after the match. “It is a very very good point. Slovakia have a really good quality squad and a few tricky players. 

“Slovakia are a well drilled team and have some real quality and they came at us. They went 1-0 up but we fought back well. We just to need to start games a little bit quicker.”

Having conceded just two minutes into the second half, Ireland had to battle back to equalise through McCabe on 65 minutes and had chances to win the match late on.

“Denise picks it up and it is my job to make forward runs down that left hand side,” said McCabe describing her run for the goal. “I know she can find me. She said she shoved off the player, played me in and I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net. From then on I thought we could keep pushing which we did. I think we showed great character.”

With Sweden defeating Finland 2-1 earlier in the day, it looks like the Olympic Silver Medallists will not be knocked off top spot, leaving a battle between Finland on six points and Ireland on four points along with Slovakia for the runners up spot and entry into the complicated World Cup playoffs.

Ireland have a game in hand and if they can beat Georgia next Tuesday, Vera Pauw’s team will move into second spot outright in the table. 

“We can't Georgia for granted. They are going to difficult. They have quality players in their side and we have to respect that and find the best solution to try and get the win.”

Deployed as a left wing back, McCabe shrugged off an injury she picked up playing against Manchester United at the weekend and the Arsenal player confirmed she will be fit again to play on Tuesday when another large crowd in Tallaght is expected.

Asked by about playing in front of such a large crowd – one just 74 short of the previous record crowd for a women’s international in Tallaght – the Kilnamanagh player said “it is brilliant. They ultimately got us over the line there tonight in the second half especially. 

“They kept pushing us right until the 95th minute. We hope they can come out again on Tuesday and get behind us and hopefully we can put on a good performance.

“We want to compete and win the games especially when we are playing at home in Tallaght. This is our fortress. We want to make it a difficult place to come but I think we showed, especially in the second half, after we conceded the early goal after half time, we came out fighting, got the equaliser and we kept pushing for the second.”

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