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Pauw and stars align for Ireland – Manager’s clever stewardship gives team real shot at making World Cup

Eamonn Sweeney


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Vera Pauw: Ireland are lucky to have her. Photo: Sportsfile

Vera Pauw: Ireland are lucky to have her. Photo: Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland goalscorers Megan Connolly, left, and Denise O'Sullivan celebrate following the victory over Finland in Helsinki. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland goalscorers Megan Connolly, left, and Denise O'Sullivan celebrate following the victory over Finland in Helsinki. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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Vera Pauw: Ireland are lucky to have her. Photo: Sportsfile

Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Finland was one of the finest away performances ever by an Irish football team. It may also turn out to be a major turning point in the history of the women’s game here.

Pre-match odds of 4/7 for a Finnish win and 9/2 for an away victory reflected the magnitude of the task facing Ireland in this World Cup qualifying group game. Finland are fresh from qualifying for the European Championships by topping their group with seven wins and a draw from eight games, scoring 24 goals and conceding just two.


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