McCabe limps off as France inflict defeat on Ireland

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup just two weeks away, France travelled to Dublin’s Tallaght Stadium on Thursday. There, they’d face a Republic of Ireland side preparing for their first World Cup appearance – captained by Arsenal’s Katie McCabe.

IRL: Brosnan; McCabe, Connolly, Quinn, Fahey, Payne; Sheva, Littlejohn, O’Sullivan, Farrelly; Carusa

FRA: Peyraud-Magnin; Karchaoui, Cascarino, Renard, Lakrar; Dali, Toletti, Geyoro; Bacha, Le Sommer, Diani

Ireland will rightly feel hard done by, after an early opener was chalked out for offside. With little over ten minutes played, neat linkup play saw Farrelly find Carusa – who was wrongly flagged as offside, despite going on to slot the ball home.

Brief concern was felt around Dublin’s Tallaght Stadium as Katie McCabe required treatment moments later, having seemingly tweaked her ankle with no contact from French opposition. Thankfully, the skipper was able to continue.

Despite Ireland having the better of the opening half hour, the onrushing Brosnan looked to inadvertently provide Bacha with an opportunity to pick out the back of the net. The French forward couldn’t get the angle right, and her effort slammed into the side netting – much to the relief of the ‘keeper.

In a move that many will hope was just precautionary, Katie McCabe was withdrawn after just thirty minutes – making way for Izzy Atkinson. Denise O’Sullivan donned the captain’s armband for the remainder of the evening.

In a harsh blow for the hosts just before the break, France took the lead through Maëlle Lakrar. Having surged down the right flank, the defender attempted to tee up her central teammate – instead finding Heather Payne. In her desperate attempts to clear the danger, Payne was only able to return the ball to Lakrar, who then slotted home for her debut French goal.

Bad quickly turned to worse though, and despite Ireland’s dominance for much of the first half, they found themselves trailing by two before half-time. Neat interplay saw Toletti pick out Dali, with the Aston Villa midfielder then playing the ball into the feet of Eugénie Le Sommer. ‘Clinical’ may well be her middle name, as the Lyon striker found the back of the net with incredible precision.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Just five minutes into the second half, Le Sommer could have added her second of the evening – the forward was sent through on goal in pursuit of a long ball. Great goalkeeping from Brosnan ensured she wasn’t able to do so, but the visitors had certainly enjoyed the better of the ball since play resumed.

Lakrar doubled her personal tally on the hour mark, as Kenza Dali registered another assist with a cross that picked out the unmarked right-back, who had a free header that she simply couldn’t miss. With the game seemingly dead and buried, Vera Pauw would surely be wondering where things went wrong after such a dominant first-half showing – except for the final five minutes of stoppage time.

Yet despite France creating a multitude of chances in the final thirty minutes, Hervé Renard’s side were unable to further extend their advantage – ultimately settling for a comfortable three-goal margin. Ireland may have suffered a hefty defeat in Dublin, but there were plenty of promising signs displayed throughout the opening half. Fans of the Girls in Green will be praying that Katie McCabe’s injury isn’t too serious.

FromTheSpot will be bringing you coverage of every game throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including previews and detailed reports. We’ll cover games in the buildup to the tournament too, so you can get a feel for the potential favourites ahead of action getting underway in Australia and New Zealand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *