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.

Ireland women's manager Colin Bell

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

Ryanair call for airport booze ban after Ibiza bound plane was diverted due to drunken Irish passengers

This is why you should always use aftersun, even if you’re not sunburnt

Defence department pays €3.7m in litigation

Damien Duff: When Roy left, it let lads breathe

More in this Section

Magical Ronaldo hat-trick gets World Cup party started for Portugal

Dundalk cruise to eighth win on the trot

Windfall bought Paul Pogba’s old club three minibuses

Rebuilt Brazil gun for World Cup glory

Breaking Stories

RFU supports England coach Eddie Jones despite struggles in South Africa

Neymar fails to fire as Brazil held by Switzerland in World Cup opener

Steven Zuber denies Brazil as Switzerland snatch famous draw

Tommy Fleetwood moves into US Open contention after strong final round


New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner