Ireland’s 1-1 draw away to Sweden in April was a huge moment in their World Cup qualification campaign, defender Clare O’Riordan has said, adding the result was “very hard to put into words.”
Vera Pauw’s side take on the Philippines in a friendly on Monday, as preparations continue for the crucial qualifier against Georgia. O’Riordan, who has been capped 17 times, reflected on Ireland’s result in Gothenburg, and said that it gave them great confidence coming into this camp.
“It is very hard to put into words how everyone felt about that point away,” said O’Riordan, who plays for German side MSV Duisburg.
“Sweden are obviously a very good team and are number two in the world. Everyone knew the challenge ahead, but it was something we were well up for. It gave a lot of encouragement going forward for the team, and confidence coming into this camp. Everyone worked so, so hard and was rewarded by the end of it.”
Despite a record 11-0 win against Georgia in Tallaght Stadium last November, the Limerick woman is under no illusions that the away trip will be challenge.
“Everyone is level-headed, and we have our feet on the ground,” O’Riordan continued.
“We know the task at hand. We’re away from home. We need to take that into consideration and do the best that we can to secure the win. We’re focused on this game now and getting the result.”
The 27-year-old comes into the Ireland camp after winning promotion to the Frauen-Bundesliga with MSV Duisburg, who won their final seven games on the bounce to clinch second place. O’Riordan had to overcome injury setbacks this season but says that she is now stronger for the experience.
“The injury itself was very difficult,” she added.
“It was a massive learning curve for me as a player and as a person. When we’re faced with a challenge, it all depends on how you take it, if you take it personally or use it in a positive light, and I think I used it in a positive light. I’m just looking to build on it and see how far I progress in this camp.”
“Everyone was on quite a high getting promotion. I have been in Germany now for four seasons, I wanted something to show for it in my time there. Having promotion twice shows that it’s successful. It’s tough in Germany but that’s what we need as players, to be challenged.”