UEFA Women's Euro 2013 Qualifiers
Republic of Ireland v Scotland
Thursday 21st June 2012, kick-off 7.30 pm
Turner’s Cross Stadium, Cork
Scotland face a Republic of Ireland side fighting to remain in contention for a Group 4 play-off place in Cork this evening.
After losing to Wales on Saturday, Sue Ronan's side have dropped to fourth in the group, four points behind Scotland and Wales.
With runaway leaders France unbeaten, it is a three-way battle between the local rivals to secure second, and a place in the play-offs.
Scotland needed two late goals to defeat tonight's opponents in the reverse fixture at Tynecastle in April, and national coach Anna Signeul is expecting a similarly demanding match tonight.
She said: "We expect Republic of Ireland to be very tough, very physical. This is their last chance to keep make sure the opportunity to finish second in the group is in their own hands.
"We know that they will be 100% up for it. They can't afford to lose an early goal and we don't expect to be able to play the kind of football that we played in the 8-0 win over Israel on Saturday.
"However, usually whenever we play brilliantly, it is when we are defending well.
"We want to stop them from playing long balls, deny them space, we want to be in their faces immediately. I think that's what we are best at.
"We are also very good in transition between attack and defence and we will need that tonight."
Scotland must take at least four points from their final three matches to secure second place, after Wales' took maximum points from the current round of fixtures. Wales and France await Scotland in their final double-header in September.
Anna said: "I wasn't surprised that Republic of Ireland lost to Wales at the weekend. Any of these two teams could have won the match. This time Republic of Ireland were the better team and Wales won, the last time they met it was the other way round, so it has evened out over the two matches.
"It's special to play teams that we know well like Wales and Republic of Ireland in a qualifying campaign, and also very difficult. Both teams are physical and well organised and have some very good players, including the goalkeepers.
"We are determined that we will make the play-offs and we are in a good position to do that with three games left to play.
"When the campaign started we expected tough games against Wales and Ireland and that has proved to be correct so far, but we want to go out and win this game."
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Saturday, 16 June 2012