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'Ireland will do all they can to take points from us' - Details confirmed for Pauw's charges' crunch Euro qualifier

The Girls in Green are facing into a massive clash against Germany in September.

Girls in Green: Rianna Jarrett, Denise O'Sullivan and Katie McCabe.
Girls in Green: Rianna Jarrett, Denise O'Sullivan and Katie McCabe.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

VERA PAUW’S IRELAND have learned the full details for their long-awaited return to action with confirmation of the venue for their crunch European Championship qualifier against Germany.

The Deutscher Fußball-Bund [DFB] — or German FA — today announced that Stadion Essen will host the showdown on Saturday, 19 September, with kick-off pencilled in for 2pm local time [1pm Irish time].

Essen is the home of fourth-tier men’s outfit Rot-Weiss and Women’s Bundesliga side SGS Essen. It holds 20,650 spectators but it’s expected only 8,000 will be allowed to attend due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Girls In Green currently lead Group I, as they look to reach a first-ever major tournament in England 2022. With two games against top seeds and group favourites Germany and another against second seeds Ukraine left, Pauw’s unbeaten side are facing into the business end of their campaign.

Having recorded two wins over Montenegro, a massive victory over Ukraine and earning four points against Greece, Ireland are unbeaten — though they have played one game more than Germany.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s German side have won four from four, scored 31 goals and conceded 0 — though they’re well aware of the Irish challenge that lies ahead. 

“We’re very much looking forward to seeing everyone again after such a long time apart,” Voss-Tecklenburg said. “The entire coaching staff and the players are itching to be back on the pitch together.

We have an important game in Essen against a team that’s at the top of the table. Ireland will do all they can in order to take points from us. They are a very physical team who don’t shy away from any challenges.

“We already know that we will be facing off against a team with a strong mentality.”

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After that crunch clash with the Germans on 19 September — who they were originally due to face on 11 April and again in September — Ireland face Ukraine away on 23 October and host the former again on 1 December.

The postponed 2021 Uefa Women’s European Championship finals will take place in England in July 2022. Dutchwoman Pauw will remain at the Irish helm despite enforced changes to the women’s international football calendar.

With the group winners and three best second-placed sides qualifying automatically for the 2022 Euros and the six other runners-up heading for play-offs next year, Pauw’s side are certainly in good stead ahead of their final three games.

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Emma Duffy

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