Ireland secured an unlikely point away to Sweden in World Cup Qualifying Group B. The 1-1 result puts them in pole position to secure second place in the group.
Ireland threatened history in Gothenburg this evening.
The Ireland camp weren't expecting a victory from this game, so not getting one can't be considered failure. But up until late in the second half, it felt like it was there for the team. Katie McCabe found herself unmarked on the edge of the box during the first half. Denise O'Sullivan set her up and she cracked a shot towards goal.
It was deflected before it nestled in the bottom corner, but it wasn't a goal that was completely undeserved.
Sweden dictated the game throughout and spent spells of the game camped in Ireland's half. But McCabe had struck a second shot on goal from a good position and she also set up O'Sullivan with a great cross that the midfielder should have taken advantage of.
Although Sweden struck the crossbar twice before scoring their opening goal, they didn't create too many clear cut chances. The half chances they did manage were matched by a strong performance from Courtney Brosnan in the Irish goal.
Brosnan showed great command as Ireland's defence kept tight throughout the game.
Real Madrid's Kosovare Asllani eventually broke the deadlock when she chested the ball down and struck past Brosnan after a long ball was knocked down inside the box. It was one of the very few occasions when a Swedish player found space in the box. Ireland played a conservative formation with five at the back, but the sheer quality of opponent meant it was still a massive task.
A point sends Sweden, the second-ranked team in the world, through to the World Cup. It's not a victory for Ireland, but it will be a huge benefit in a group that is going to be very tight the rest of the way.
Ireland face Georgia in June.
Coverage is thanks to Sky - Proud Partner of the Women's National Team. Outbelieve Together & We Can Go Anywhere Coverage is thanks to Sky - Proud Partner of the Women's National Team.
Outbelieve Together & We Can Go Anywhere.