Ireland will play in the second round of the World Cup play-offs, but who could they face next?

Ireland will play in the second round of the World Cup play-offs, but who could they face next?

Yesterday evening Ireland's women's national team beat Slovakia 1-0 away from home. Denise O'Sullivan's well taken goal in the first half means that Ireland finished their Group A qualification campaign in second place. 


Ireland captain McCabe said: ""[The play-off] is going to be a massive, massive game, probably the biggest in our history but we're used to this now. We're used to the pressure. 

"We've grown as a team and I'm so proud of each and every player tonight, even the girls back home who are injured and suspended. 

"It's unbelievable how this team is growing because tonight it was not nice, with not good football, not our best game, but you can see that these tigers can fight for the win," added Vera Pauw 

The result now means that Pauw's side will bypass the first round of the play-offs and will go straight into the second round.  

If Ireland manage to get past this game, then that will mean that could make it to their first ever major tournament in Australia and New Zealand next year, depending on results.  

The draw for the first round of play-offs will be made this Friday lunchtime. The second-round play-off will take place on Tuesday 11 October. 

A number of sides have already made the World Cup. These include obvious names like England, Sweden, Norway, France, and other big hitters. These won't be included in the play-offs for obvious reasons. 

The first round playoffs will contain the likes of Iceland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Portugal, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The 3 winners of this first round will face either Switzerland, Iceland, or the Republic of Ireland in the second round. 

The two highest-ranked winners of these ties will then qualify for the World Cup. 

If Vera Pauw’s team are deemed to be ranked third after winning the second round they will play in a 10-team intercontinental play-off tournament in Hamilton and Auckland in February 2023, where another 3 teams can win the remaining places.