The Irish team ahead of kick-off. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Player ratings: How the Girls in Green fared against Australia

Vera Pauw’s side came desperately close to pulling off a momentous result on a historic day.

Courtney Brosnan: Made a couple of routine saves, dealt well with Australia’s balls into the box and could do little about the excellently taken penalty. Brosnan was solid overall though seldom seriously tested. 6

Heather Payne: Seemed to be targeted at times by the Australians but coped well with the pressure, looking resolute and providing plenty of energy, justifying the decision to start her at wing-back. She, unfortunately, missed one of Ireland’s few decent chances to score in the second half when the ball broke to her in the area. 7

Louise Quinn: Made a couple of timely blocks and interceptions and did little wrong at the back. Frustratingly couldn’t make much of an impact in her more unorthodox role in attack towards the end. 7

Niamh Fahey: Made one risky pass to Ruesha Littlejohn that put Ireland in trouble, but otherwise played well, producing countless headers and blocks away to seriously restrict the Australians for much of the game. 7

Megan Connolly: Came very close to scoring near the end with a deflected free kick that went just over the bar, while also directly after producing a dangerous corner that was palmed away by Mackenzie Arnold. Had a quiet game overall though. 6

Katie McCabe: Played on the edge during the first half in particular and was lucky not to get carded, but was one of Ireland’s livelier players going forward, producing a gutsy display with no shortage of nous. A couple of her corners also caused problems in the Australian defence. Will rule a half-chance she couldn’t convert in the dying moments. 7 

Sinead Farrelly: Broke up play well a couple of times, but struggled to exert her influence with the Australians dominating the ball and was replaced by Lucy Quinn in the 63rd minute. 6

Denise O’Sullivan: Excellent in a relatively deep-lying midfield role, regularly breaking up play. She reads the game so well, which is why she stopped so many Australian attacks and was one of the main reasons why the hosts struggled to open their opponents up. 7

Ruesha Littlejohn: A diligent display but looked tired towards the end, as emphasised by a cross straight out of play and a silly foul when frustration set in. 6

Marissa Sheva: Didn’t offer much going forward and clumsily conceded a needless penalty from which Australia scored the opening goal. It was therefore no surprise when she was replaced by Abbie Larkin just after the hour mark. 5

Kyra Carusa: The prototypical thankless task, with the Australians so dominant, Carusa invariably looked quite isolated up front but managed to make a nuisance of herself and caused a few nervy moments for the Australian defence. 6

Substitutions: Isibeal Atkinson and Lucy Quinn struggled to make an impact in their limited time on the pitch, while Abbie Larkin was the pick of those introduced, bringing a new dimension to Ireland’s attack with her pace and technical ability causing the hosts problems out wide. 6

Vera Pauw: There are certain decisions you could quibble with. Should Amber Barrett have been introduced late on? Were Ireland a little too conservative at times? But overall, Pauw got her tactics spot on, as Ireland came agonisingly close to pulling off a momentous result against a technically superior side who are among the favourites to win the tournament. 7

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