Ruesha Littlejohn gate-crashes Katie McCabe's interview after another player-of-the-match display 1 month ago

Ruesha Littlejohn gate-crashes Katie McCabe's interview after another player-of-the-match display

Katie McCabe won her second player-of-the-match in a row on Tuesday night so her team-mate and partner Ruesha Littlejohn felt it was time to take her down a peg or two.

"Who's picking these man-of-the-matches," said the Glaswegian, who qualifies to play for Ireland through her maternal grandparents. "Is it Katie's mum?"

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The truth is, on a chilly November night in Tallaght stadium, it wouldn't have mattered who was picking the player-of-the-match because, after two goals and five assists, it was always going to be the increasingly composed and confident Dubliner.

In fairness, Cork's brilliant midfielder Denise O'Sullivan gave McCabe a run for her money with a hat-trick of her own but, albeit against a deplorable Georgia side, this was a masterclass from the Arsenal player who bossed the game from start-to-finish.

There were only three minutes gone by the time she'd set-up the first goal of the night, tearing down that left flank in trademark fashion before whipping a dangerous ball into the box. Georgia's Maiko Bebia deflected the ball into her own net and from there, the travelling side were fighting a losing battle. They've played four games to date in this World Cup qualifying campaign and on this evidence, it's easy to see why they haven't won any.

They were vulnerable and Vera Pauw's Ireland ripped them to shreds. McCabe, Denise O'Sullivan and Lucy Quinn were the stand-out performers for the home team, who ended up walloping their way to a record-breaking 11-0 win. Goal difference can often be a decisive factor in these qualifying campaigns so as well as moving them up to second place behind Sweden, down the line, to win by eleven goals will do them no harm whatsoever.

"Setting a record in front of all the amazing fans in the wind and rain was great," McCabe said to Tony O'Donoghue on RTE after the game.

“A few of us were around were for the 9-0 against Montenegro when Stephanie Roche and Aine O’Gorman got hat-tricks and I told them to keep pushing for more.

“We just wanted to put on a good performance, it’s been a tough year for everyone with Covid and we wanted to put a smile on people’s faces and rectify things after the draw against Slovakia.”

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McCabe's partner Littlejohn then came into gatecrash the interview before McCabe turned her attention to this Sunday's women's FA Cup final, when she'll be lining out for Arsenal against Chelsea.

"A few of the girls are coming over and my family so it’s a big one," said McCabe, who continues to be a role model for young women in soccer.