Kyra Carusa: ‘Nothing is over until it’s actually over’ in race for EURO2025 qualification

Speaking after the Republic of Ireland fell to their second consecutive EURO2025 qualifying loss, forward Kyra Carusa spoke candidly about the impact of playing in front of bumper crowds at the Aviva Stadium and the mentality that will be needed if the Girls in Green are to make it to Switzerland next summer.

Ireland were pegged back for much of the first half in Dublin on Tuesday, but tactical changes at half time allowed Eileen Gleeson’s side to recover and force the better chances as the match wore on. Carusa explained post-match that ‘it’s hard conceding in the first half because then it’s really on us to make something happen. I’d say that when you’re out there, you’re just thinking about every little piece you can do off the ball: dominating the ball, that’s just as important as having it.’

But it is not an unfamiliar feeling for the talismanic forward, who expects the reverse fixture at Norwich City’s Carrow Road to be an intriguing match. ‘I think of it like when I was playing in Denmark in the Champions League and we were this tiny Danish team playing the likes of Barcelona and Katie [McCabe] with Arsenal, right?’

‘It’s a very familiar position, and I remember the first game we played was against Hoffenheim and we thought we could have a go at them, but we ended up getting demolished in our first-ever game. We just thought this’ll be a long road, but the second time we met them, we were challenging, we scored on them – you’re ahead in the game and you change completely.’

Embed from Getty Images

‘I know, having seen it actually happen before, that we are more than capable to collect what we can from these games and turn it round on the back end. I still think every single team in this group looks to our game and shakes their heads like ‘we don’t know what to expect from this game.’’

‘I’d say that again with these, nothing is over until it’s actually over and I think that you take a lot of respect against both of these teams – they’re class teams, and you see the quality that they play with. You respect that, but having experienced it, then you think we can be braver in these situations.’

The Girls in Green will return to Aviva Stadium next month as they welcome Sweden to the Irish capital, in a match that Carusa is looking forward to with immense anticipation.

She told FromTheSpot that playing at Lansdowne Road is ‘magic every time. It makes me think of the Northern Ireland game, this was home. Tallaght also feels like home, but it’s a different feeling. There’s nothing like walking out and there’s 32,000 people there and the minute you touch the ball, the excitement reverberates throughout the room.’

‘For women’s football, playing on this stage is what you want to see every time: that contagious energy, that wanting to show up for us because we want to do the same for them.’