31.07.2023 at 11:00 Lang Park Brisbane
Referee: Karen Diaz Medina (Mexico)
Vera Pauw final game
A spirited performance by the Ireland Women's National Team saw them draw 0-0 with Nigeria in their final game of FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.
31st Jul 2023
This game had a bit of everything: a backheel flick from Katie McCabe made for Tik Tok, a superb save from Courtney Brosnan ideal for a highlights reel, a courageous collective performance perfect for an analysis session and an occasion to savour for a lifetime.
Vera Pauw's team set up slightly differently from the narrow defeats to Australia and Canada by pushing Denise O'Sullivan further forward - with Lily Agg starting in midfield alongside Ruesha Littlejohn - and the Cork native was outstanding.
Nigeria are known for their pace and quick transitional play, but it was Ireland who started the quickest with captain McCabe fizzing a shot wide and Kyra Carusa going close during a first period where the team in white jerseys dominated.
On the break, Nigeria were a threat and had some chances of their own - especially early in the second half when they made some tactical changes. However, there was no getting past Brosnan who produced a FIFA Player of the Match performance.
With most of the 24,844 fans cheering Ireland on, it felt like a home game. The players soaked up that atmosphere and applied a lot of pressure to the Nigerian defence late on but they could not find that breakthrough.
In the end, Ireland got a point; their first ever in a major senior tournament. It was a good way to cap off an impressive World Cup adventure as they showed the world that they belong at this level.
Ireland: Courtney Brosnan; Heather Payne (Marissa Sheva 83), Niamh Fahey (Diane Caldwell 95), Louise Quinn, Megan Connolly, Katie McCabe; Lily Agg (Abbie Larkin 83), Ruesha Littlejohn, Denise O’Sullivan, Sinead Farrelly; Krya Carusa.
Nigeria: Chamaka Nnadozie; Michelle Alozie, Osinachi Ohale, Oluwatosin Demehin (Ebi Onome 84), Ashleigh Plumptre; Christy Ucheibe, Halimatu Ayinde; Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, Uchenna Kanu (Gift Monday 67); Asisat Oshoala (Ifeoma Onumonu 67).
Referee: Karen Diaz Medina (Mexico).