Colin Bell's heroines confident of making history against Norway

After producing a couple of magic moments for Irish women’s football in their World Cup qualification campaign to date, Áine O’Gorman wants the team to deliver a meteoric one in the Norwegian coastal city of Stavanger this evening.

The Colin Bell era, thus far characterised by defensive nous, will need a spark at the other end as only victory against top seeds Norway will avoid their hopes of a play-off disappearing with the concluding qualifier against Northern Ireland in late August still to play.

O’Gorman, the Peamount United player, will earn her 100th cap and it will need something similar to John O’Shea’s last-gasp equaliser in Gelsenkirchen almost four years on his century appearance for Ireland’s plight to be rescued.

That Ireland are embarking on this most daunting of challenges without FAI Player of the Year Harriet Scott and defensive mainstay Diane Caldwell only deepens the task at the 16,000 all-seater Viking Stadium.

If last November’s 0-0 draw against recently-crowned European champions Netherlands signalled a watershed for the side, then they’ve to surpass that by beating a Norway side that is finally clicking after a slow start to the campaign.

The Dutch and Norway are on course to seal the top-two places unless Ireland inflict an upset this evening.

O’Gorman is the longest-serving player is a survivor of five previous campaigns and believes there’s still time to create history in this one.

This is the closest we’ve come to qualifying since reaching a European Championships play-off ten years ago but I’m confident we’ll do it,” said Enniskerry native O’Gorman, who came into the squad at 16 alongside her friend Katie Taylor.

“Although Norway are strong, they have weakness we can exploit. Just because of the situation we’re in doesn’t mean our philosophy will change.

“Colin will have us well organised to hit Norway on the counter-attack. With players like Leanne Kiernan up front, given her lightning pace, we can get at them.

“A lot of changed in the set-up since I made my debut at 16 against Denmark. We’re much better set up, everybody knows their jobs and we’ll be ready for this challenge.

It would be great to mark the occasion with the needed win to keep us in contention.

While there is a deluge of injury problems, one bit of solace did arrive yesterday. Louise Quinn looked a certainty to miss the rematch after being taken off with a broken nose on Friday. The Arsenal defender, however, will wear a protective mask in the match after coming through yesterday’s final training sessions without any problems.

“As soon as the incident happened in the match, Louise wanted to get back on the pitch but we had to keep her off,” said Bell.

“It shows the passion and determination the players have for this team. They want to succeed and that’s fantastic for me to see.”

Ireland (probable):

M Hourihan (Manchester City); A O’Gorman (Peamount Utd), S Perry-Campbell (Brighton & Hove Albion), N Fahey (Bordeaux), L Quinn (Arsenal) K Duggan (Peamount Utd); T Toland (Maiden City), M Connolly (Florida State Seminoles); L Kiernan (Shelbourne), D O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), K McCabe (Arsenal); A Barrett (Peamount Utd).


Related Articles

While we’re waiting for another Robbie, let’s find a Lafferty

David Beckham admits marriage is ‘hard work’: Is it normal for long-term relationships to be tough?

Pompeii discovery casts doubt on date of Vesuvius eruption

Providence eyes west coast drilling round next year

More in this Section

Caulfield hoping Cork City will prove ‘nightmare’ to Polish champions Legia


Breaking Stories

League of Ireland: Late goal gives Bray rare win; Bohs draw with Sligo

Ozil stars as Arsenal make it a perfect 10 with victory over Leicester

Minnows Haringey Borough paired with AFC Wimbledon in FA Cup

Ronaldo relaxed and full of smiles ahead of Old Trafford clash

Breaking Stories

Here's how to taste Honey properly

National Curry Week: 7 unusual ingredients to spice up your dish

5 ways to beat FOMOMG – the fear of missing out on your life goals

Everything you need to know about presenter Maya Jama’s eclectic and 90s-inspired style

More From The Irish Examiner