Tomorrow marks the start of Ireland's World Cup adventure. Vera Pauw's side will play co-hosts Australia in Sydney in front of a sold-out crowd.
The game is scheduled for 11 pm Irish time and will be broadcasted on RTÉ2 for those looking to watch from home.
Pauw, who has led Ireland's Women's team to their first World Cup, wants her players to believe they can get a result against 'The Matildas' tomorrow.
"As a team, we have always held the belief that something only appears to be impossible the moment it proves to be impossible," she said. "What that means is that you must believe in yourself, embrace tougher challenges, and step forward to trust that you are ready to fulfill your dreams. We did just that to qualify for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023; now we must be brave once again to make the most of this fantastic opportunity of competing in the world’s best competition."
The Ireland boss has also thanked the Irish public at home and in Australia for backing the players so far.
"We might be on the other side of the world, but we feel the support of everyone in Ireland," she added. "We stand on the shoulders of the players, coaches, staff members, and officials who drove women and girls’ football forward over the last 50 years. We carry the hopes of girls and boys wanting their heroes to perform well. We get to show that the endless hours of coaching and encouragement from Grassroots volunteers that helped shape our players were worth it. And we are able to give back to those in Irish football who have helped shape this incredible journey.
"Our preparation is complete. Our motivation is intact. And our game-plan is set. We are ready. We just hope that we can do the people of Ireland proud. This is our time."
Here's a full preview of the game to come.
MATCH DETAILSFIFA Women’s World Cup 2023Group BAustralia v IrelandThursday, July 20Stadium Australia, SydneyKO 20:00 (11:00 Irish Time)LIVE on RTÉ2 MATCH OFFICIALSReferee: Edina Alves (Brazil)Assistant Referee: Neuza Back (Brazil)Assistant Referee: Leila Cruz (Brazil)Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (Chile)VAR Official: Daiane Muniz (Brazil)VAR Assistant: Juan Soto (Venezuela)Offside VAR Official: Mariana De Almedia (Argentina) TEAM NEWSIreland have a fully fit squad to select from with midfielder Denise O’Sullivan having come through training sessions in recent days following an injury scare. FACTS FOR THE GAME
- Australia are taking part in their eighth FIFA Women’s World Cup. It’s also their eighth in a row, with the only tournament they missed being the inaugural edition in 1991.
- Ireland are one of eight teams making their debut at the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year, alongside Haiti, Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Vietnam and Zambia. They beat Scotland in a play-off to reach the 2023 tournament.
- There are 12 places between the two teams in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings as France are currently 10th while Ireland are in 22nd.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS21/09/2021 | Ireland 3-2 Australia, Tallaght Stadium (International Friendly) IRELAND WNT SQUAD Goalkeepers: 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)
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) July 18, 2023