Ireland’s Amber Barrett scores the winning goal. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

'That goal... I'm dedicating it to those 10 beautiful souls who perished on Friday' - Barrett

Donegal native Amber Barrett was Ireland’s matchwinner against Scotland.

IRELAND’S MATCHWINNER Amber Barrett paid an emotional tribute to the victims of the Creeslough tragedy tonight.

The Donegal native came off the bench to score the only goal of the game against Scotland and seal a first-ever World Cup qualification for Vera Pauw’s side.

Barrett celebrated the goal with a clear reference to the tragedy, kneeling down and pointing to her black armband.

Afterwards, she told RTÉ of her connections to the area: “I know Creeslough like the back of my hand. Both my grandparents were Creeslough born and bred. I spent my whole upbringing there — summers and Christmases and every year, I go back from football to Creeslough.

“I know people that died in the tragedy, I know people who were affected by the tragedy. I know people who were first on the scene at the tragedy. I’ve not been able to put it into words in the last few days.

“This is the best day of my life in terms of what we’ve done for football. When you put it into perspective, we don’t scratch the surface of what happened over there on Friday.

“This result, this game, that goal, this award. I’m dedicating it to those 10 beautiful souls who unfortunately perished on Friday. For all their families. Because I know they touched their lives. They certainly touched ours. This is for Creeslough. This is for Donegal.”

On the match itself, the 26-year-old striker added: “That was the longest 20 minutes of my life I won’t lie to you when that goal went in. I checked the clock every 30 seconds and it felt like 10 seconds were [elapsing].

“I said it 100 times since the game finished, I do not know what we’ve just done. I cannot believe it. But seeing the people that have travelled here. Seeing the people at home that are watching, the people that have turned out to watch all our games — this is for every single one of them. This is for all the young kids growing up. Now, they have something to dream for. And I’m so happy to be part of this team.”

Barrett showed remarkable composure to finish under tense circumstances in the 72nd minute to score the goal that paved the way for a historic win.

On her thought process after being sent through on goal by an incisive Denise O’Sullivan pass, she explained: “One thing I’ve always been taught — always take your first touch across the defender. My first touch took me away and after that, I just did the old reliable, I toed it and it went in. There was no other style or skill going into it, I just put it into the corner.

“There was one thing in my head when I was coming through — the ‘keeper doesn’t come off her line, chip her, so that ruled out the one thing I wanted to do.”

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