File photo of the Sweden team. PA
world cup qualifiers

Sweden's 15-goal hammering of Georgia means they can secure automatic qualification against Ireland

The Swedes welcome Vera Pauw’s side to Gothenburg next Tuesday.

SWEDEN ROMPED TO a 15-0 hammering of Georgia in their World Cup qualifier this evening, meaning Group A’s runaway leaders can secure automatic qualification as they face the Republic of Ireland next week.

Filippa Angeldal scored a hat-trick, while Stina Blacksteenius and Kosovare Asllani grabbed a brace apiece against the beleaguered Georgians. 

Sweden were 11-0 up at half-time — equalling Ireland’s record-breaking win which they secured against the group minnows at Tallaght Stadium in December.

With a play-off place for New Zealand and Australia 2023 now assured, the Swedes will welcome Vera Pauw’s side to Gothenburg on Tuesday [KO 5.30pm Irish time, live on RTÉ 2 and RTÉ Player worldwide].

The 18,000-capacity Gamla Ullevi hosts the clash, with a sea of blue and yellow and party atmosphere expected as the hosts look to ensure direct qualification to yet another major tournament.

“First we will tackle the away meeting with Georgia with full focus on bringing a good result home to Gothenburg and the meeting with Ireland,” as manager Peter Gerhardsson said last week.

“Then we have everything in our own hands and can secure a place for the 2023 World Cup in front of our home supporters.”

Sweden, the top-ranked side in Europe and second in the Fifa world rankings, have a 100% record in the group so far, while Ireland — who have moved up to 30th in the world — sit second with seven points from four games.

The Girls In Green are one point clear of Finland in the race for the runners-up spot — the route to the play-offs — with a massive September double-header against them and fellow rivals Slovakia to come. In between now and then, they also face a trip to Tbilisi in June.

But all focus is on Sweden: the heavyweights were 1-0 winners back in October when the side’s met in Ireland’s campaign opener at Tallaght Stadium.

The visitors came into that one perhaps weakened, off the back of a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, but they are in a very different place now, preparing for this summer’s European Championships in England.

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