Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 28 September 2021


25,388 Views 4 Comments

They go again!

The Republic of Ireland women’s team are in action again, looking to build on their impressive display against Denmark.

Today, they’re in the King Baudouin Stadium to take on Belgium. Vera Pauw’s side have lots of positives to take from their 1-0 defeat at home during the week and will be looking to expand this evening, with kick-off on the way at 6.30pm.

It’s all about preparation for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers and we’ll be taking you through all the action as it happens.

Live coverage of today’s friendly is available on RTÉ News Now and we’ll have team news for you in the next few moments.

It’s cap number 50 for Ireland skipper Katie McCabe.

Alli Murphy is set to make her Ireland debut while Kyra Carusa is in line to make her first start.

Belgium will present another tough challenge for Pauw’s charges this evening.

Like the Danes, they’re also Euros-bound with some strong attacking threats. Tessa Wullaert is their top-scorer and is a former Manchester City player. Tine De Caigny is another strong scoring option for Belgium while Lyon’s Janice Cayman offers plenty of attacking power from midfield.

The captains are going in for the coin toss and we are almost ready to go now.

4 mins: Belgium 0-0 Ireland 

Ireland give Belgium a small scare in the opening minutes. Ruesha Littlejohn links up with Kyra Carusa for a cross into the Belgian box.

Denise O’Sullivan tries to get under it but Belgian keeper Odeurs gets to it first and clears her lines.

9 mins: Belgium 0-0 Ireland 

Another good attack from Ireland as Heather Payne tries to get on the end of a ball, but again, Odeurs is alert to the danger and boots the ball away.

12 mins: Belgium 0-0 Ireland 

Belgium try to test the Ireland defence with Janice Caymen whipping in a high cross. Courtney Brosnan is equal to it though and Ireland can reset again.

15 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Another rocky start for Ireland in their second friendly of the week.

They go behind again early as Tine De Caigny manages to get a toe to a cross and slip the ball past Brosnan and put the Belgians ahead.

22 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Belgium sub: Laura de Neve, whose free-kick set-up the goal for De Caigny, is going off and is replaced by Lenie Onzia.

25 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland


Important touch there from Brosnan to keep out a low effort from in front of the inside post.

Belgium slip in behind Ireland’s defence as Wullaert feeds Cayman, but Brosnan gets her foot out to save the shot.

29 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Ireland still stringing attacks together and getting inside Belgian territory.

Diane Caldwell sends in a nice pass to Littlejohn but she gets smothered out on the wing. Belgium come on the counter but the ball ends up in Brosnan’s hands.

36 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland


Heather Payne does well to pounce and intercept a pass in the Belgian defence. She slips the ball to Carusa just inside the box but the US-born striker is offside and the flag is up.

O’Sullivan presented with a half-chance moments later but gets out-muscled on the ball.

Great play from Ireland, still pressing and stretching the Belgian cover.

38 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Payne forces a save from Odeurs after collecting a brilliant ball from O’Sullivan.

Payne cuts inside her marker and tries a shot off her left, but the effort is lacking in power and Belgium continue to hold their one-goal lead.

41 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Ireland try a trick-play in the set-piece but it doesn’t come off. Katie McCabe and Littlejohn try to link up from a free-kick but their set-piece is intercepted.

It was a creative idea but they were unable to execute.

43 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland 

Payne draws a free from Missipo and the Belgian gets a yellow card for the tackle.

Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Brilliant move from Ireland as McCabe gathers a kick-out with a lovely touch. She then puts on the gas to head for the box before whipping the ball across where Payne tries to get on the end of it, but the pass has just a little bit too much pace on it and it fires by her.

46 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Penalty call denied!

McCabe breaks through the Belgian defence and creates a one-on-one scenario. But before she can get the shot off, she’s tackled by Missipo and the referee ignores her pleas for a penalty.

53 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Two big let-offs for Ireland. Megan Connolly slides in with perfect timing to get a crucial block on a goal-bound effort.

The hosts come on the attack moments later where an inviting cross from Wullaert finds De Caigny but she somehow misses her effort from close range.

57 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Áine O’Gorman, who came on for Alli Murphy at half-time, unleashes an effort at goal but it sails well over the crossbar.

66 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Double Ireland substitution: Ellen Molloy comes on for Carusa while Emily Whelan replaces Payne.

70 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland 

Brilliant individual play from De Caigny. She takes the ball inside the Ireland area, loses Caldwell with a clever instep and slices a shot along the ground.

Brosnan gets down well to smother the shot.

73 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Ireland sub: Hayley Nolan comes in for Connolly.

77 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Super save!

Brilliant play from the substitute Whelan, who draws a foul from a super position on the edge of the box.

Littlejohn stands over it and curls her free-kick towards the top corner. But credit to Odeurs who leaps up in time to palm the powerful shot out for a corner.

79 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

This game is almost a carbon copy of Ireland’s meeting with Denmark. Lots of chances created and impressive attacking play. But an early goal is keeping them at bay.

81 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Ireland double-substitution: Louise Quinn and Rianna Jarrett are both coming into the Irish attack. Claire Walsh and Littlejohn both make way.

85 mins: Belgium 1-0 Ireland


Jarrett and Quinn combine to try and bring Ireland level. Jarrett times her run perfectly to get on the end of a header from Quinn. She shoots first time, but the Belgian keeper manages to get her finger tips to the ball and see out over the endline to safety.

Belgium 1-0 Ireland

Another friendly defeat for Ireland but again, a very encouraging display. Ruesha Littlejohn was so unlucky to see her powerful free-kick get palmed away. Rianna Jarrett created two shots on target and Katie McCabe had a penalty call denied.

A draw was certainly there for Ireland this evening, which will certainly cause some frustration for Vera Pauw’s side. But there are lots of positives to take into the World Cup qualifiers that start in September.

Well that’s all from us folks. We hope you enjoyed the coverage, and hope to have you with us again soon.

Bye for now!

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

About the author:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel