THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND WOMEN'S team created their own slice of history last night by qualifying for their first ever World Cup against Scotland in Hampden Park. Donegal native Amber Barrett was one of the many Irish heros on the night.
Vera Pauw's side were the better side for large parts of the game, and really should have been 1-0 up thanks to one of Megan Campbell's throw-ins.
An early Courtney Brosnan penalty save from Caroline Weir’s spot-kick gave an early sign of how determined Ireland were to reach their first major tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Scotland, who had been to the previous World Cup had a pedigree unlike Ireland, but it never phased the Girls in Green once throughout the game.
Ireland by the 70th minute knew that a win would seal their place in next year's finals. Portugal had beaten Iceland 4-1 in the other game and Switzerland beat Wales to hand Ireland a potential massive boost in Scotland. The Irish team just needed to hold up their end of the bargain with the win, and that's exactly what they did.
Around the 71st minute mark, Denise O'Sullivan teed up the substitute striker Amber Barrett to race through on goal. The Donegal native coolly slotted past the Scottish keeper to send Ireland's players, fans and staff in raptures.
With what went into Creeslough this week, it was poignant that a person from Donegal would score Ireland's winner. Barrett pointed straight to her black armband in a clear tribute to the victims in home county last Friday.
Ireland managed to hold on and create their own slice of history that they will never forgot.
After the game Barrett draped in the Irish flag spoke to RTE Sport paying tribute to the families affected by the disaster.
"I know Creeslough like the back of my hand. Both my grandparents were Creeslough-born and bred, and I spent my whole upbringing there in the summers and Christmases. Now every year I go back. From football I go to my uncle who's still living down in Creeslough," said the Milford native
"I know people who died in the tragedy, I know people who were affected by the tragedy, I know people who were first at the scene at the tragedy, and I've not been able to put it into words.
"There's been a sombreness about me the last few days. This is the best day of my life in terms of what we've done for football but when you put it into perspective, we don't scratch the surface of what happened over there on Friday and this result, that game, that goal, this award, I'm dedicating it to those ten beautiful souls who unfortunately perished on Friday, for all their families because I know they touched their lives.
"They certainly touched ours and this is for Creeslough, this is for Donegal, this is for Ireland."
Donegal woman Amber Barrett dedicated her winning goal to the 'ten beautiful souls' who lost their lives in Creeslough after the Republic of Ireland women's team qualified for a first ever FIFA World Cup last night | @rtesport | Read more: https://t.co/WGOhDrA3Ms pic.twitter.com/lffbv2vuwC — RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 12, 2022
Donegal woman Amber Barrett dedicated her winning goal to the 'ten beautiful souls' who lost their lives in Creeslough after the Republic of Ireland women's team qualified for a first ever FIFA World Cup last night | @rtesport | Read more: https://t.co/WGOhDrA3Ms pic.twitter.com/lffbv2vuwC
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 12, 2022