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22nd Feb 2023

Ireland denied legitimate winner against China, as massive USA matches confirmed

Patrick McCarry


The footballing Gods giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other.

Vera Pauw’s Ireland side drew 0-0 with China at at Estadio Nuevo Mirador in Algeciras, Spain, this afternoon. They were denied what looked to be a clear and easy goal in the second half of their World Cup warm-up.

Ireland got their first proper test of 2023 when facing off against a China side that will be in England’s World Cup group, in Australia and New Zealand, this summer.

The match was short of clear-cut scoring chances but Ireland had the most to be aggrieved about when Katie McCabe swung in a free-kick from the right wing.  Louise Quinn was one of two Irish players looking to get a touch on the cross but the ball went in off China goalkeeper Xu Huan.

As Ireland reeled off in celebration, a whistle was blown for a foul on the China No.1 but it was a harsh call. Replays showed there was minimal contact with Xu Huan.

Ireland line up USA double-header

China had a goal ruled out, too, for handball while the women in green gave out debuts to Aoife Mannion, Deborah-Anne De La Harpe and Marissa Sheva against a side ranked 14th in the world.

Earlier in the day, it was confirmed the Irish team would play a double-header of friendlies against the USA, in April. Vera Pauw will bring her squad to the United States for a 10-day camp and play the reigning world champions on April 8 (Austin, Texas) and April 11 (St Louis, Missouri).

The USA are ranked No.1 in the world so it will be a stern test for Ireland in the lead-up to their first ever World Cup. They are also scheduled to play Zambia, on June 22, and France, on July 6, before setting off for the tournament.

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