Canadian boss Bev Priestman has acknowledged that playing against Ireland in Perth will feel like facing another home nation. The two teams will clash at 1 pm Irish time today, and once again, the Irish supporters have turned up in large numbers to back the Girls in Green.
Australia's substantial expatriate community includes a significant Irish contingent, and it is expected that the 18,000 capacity HBF Park will be predominantly filled with supporters donning green.
The sold-out Group B encounter adds another layer of intrigue as both teams are in urgent need of a victory to keep their World Cup dreams alive. Ireland, currently rooted to the bottom with no points, need the win more desperately, while Canada, with only one point, would ideally like to add more to their tally.
With so much at stake, the atmosphere is sure to be electric. Priestman is well aware of the passionate Irish fans and understands the challenge her team will face when they meet later in the day.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) July 25, 2023
Priestman said, "We have already sensed the strong following, and I think even the fact that Australia and Ireland had to get moved to a new stadium speaks volumes about the passion of the country and how proud the Irish are of their team.
The 33-year-old also believes that it will give them good expierence ahead of their final group game against Australia.
"It sets us up well to play our third game against the home nation, and it might feel a little bit like that. But at the end of the day, playing in front of a big, passionate crowd is where everybody wants to be," she added.
"They are in this arena to test themselves, so for us, we have some internal processes for playing in front of a crowd, communication, and that is all a challenge."
Ireland's game against Canada kicks off at 1pm Irish time and can be watched live on RTE2.
MATCH OFFICIALSReferee: Laura Fortunato (Argentina) Assistant Referee: Marianna De Almeida (Argentina) Assistant Referee: Daiana Milone (Argentina) Fourth Official: Akona Zenith Makhalima (South Africa) VAR Referee: Alejandro Hernandez (Spain) VAR Assistant: Juan Martinez (Spain) Offside VAR Referee: Neuza Back (Brazil)
IRELAND WNT SQUADGoalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion) Defenders: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Áine O'Gorman (Shamrock Rovers), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (Reading), Claire O’Riordan (Standard Liege), Chloe Mustaki (Bristol City), Izzy Atkinson (West Ham United) Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Ciara Grant (Hearts), Lily Agg (London City Lionesses), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City), Sinead Farrelly (NY/NJ Gotham) Forwards: Kyra Carusa (London City Lionesses), Amber Barrett (Standard Liege), Marissa Sheva (Washington Spirit), Abbie Larkin (Shamrock Rovers)