Republic of Ireland earn Women’s World Cup place with win over Scotland

Amber Barrett came off the bench to send the Republic of Ireland to the Women’s World Cup finals for the first time in their history with a 1-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park.

Barrett sent a superb finish past home keeper Lee Gibson in the 72nd minute, just four minutes after replacing Heather Payne up front.

Real Madrid star Caroline Weir had a first-half penalty saved as the Scots struggled to assert themselves and saw their own hopes of emulating their 2019 finals appearance perish.

Both sides started the night unsure of their respective fates but results elsewhere cleared up the situation and left Ireland clear that a win would be enough to seal their place in Australia and New Zealand next year.

Scotland, whose fate was more complicated, got the first opportunity when Niamh Fairley handled the ball in the box in the 19th minute, but Weir’s weak spot-kick was well saved by Courtney Brosnan.

Martha Thomas had a second penalty appeal turned down five minutes later as Scotland pressed, but the hosts had a lucky escape on the half-hour mark when Megan Campbell’s long throw ended up in the net but was ruled out because it had evaded everyone in the box.

Ireland ended the first half well on top, with Aine O’Gorman somehow steering a free header over the bar from six yards, followed by a mighty goalmouth scramble in which Fairley and Lily Agg were among those who saw shots cleared off the line.

Scotland regrouped in the second half, with Fiona Brown firing wide and Weir and Claire Emslie also coming close, before Barrett staged her dramatic intervention.

With her first touch, she picked up the ball deep in the Scotland half and pressed forward to fire a superb shot past Gibson and ultimately make World Cup history for her team.

Jersey Evening Post