Stephanie Roche strikes for late, late winner to keep World Cup chase alive

Sue Ronan’s side can sneak second place in Group 1 — but even that looks unlikely to be enough for a playoff spot.

STEPHANIE ROCHE KEPT Ireland’s slim World Cup qualification hopes alive with a dramatic stoppage time winner in Slovakia.

Roche kept a cool head in the 92nd minute to give Sue Ronan’s Girls in Green a deserved 1-0 win in their penultimate Group 1 game.


Ireland hit the woodwork three times but left it late before substitute Roche stole all three points.

Germany’s 4-1 win against Russia leaves Ireland in with an outside shout of snatching the runner-up spot, but even that is unlikely to be enough for a playoff place.

Ireland now need to beat Germany — who have already qualified as group winners — in Heidenheim on Wednesday evening and hope that Russia lose against Croatia in Zagreb.

That would seal second place but Ireland would still need a lot of other results to go their way. Only the four best runners-up qualify for the playoffs which will decide the final UEFA qualifier for next year’s tournament in Canada.

You can watch the game in full here:

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Niall Kelly

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