Two goals from Anna O’Flanagan propelled the Irish women to a second successive World Cup appearance, including the winner with 11 minutes to go against Wales in Pisa.

Wins against France and Belarus in the sudden death qualifier set up Sunday’s win and the team who became Ireland’s first to reach a World Cup Final in 2018 have given themselves a chance to do it all over again.

“What just happened here is a huge moment for the legacy of this team, continuing to build on the success we have already had,” said captain Katie Mullan after the game.

“We knew it would be a defining moment. It wasn’t pretty but it shows the character within our group to come away from the game with a win from such a tough battle. Credit to Wales, they put on a big performance and took us right to the end.”

The tournament followed a gruelling schedule in 2021 with June’s European Championships followed by the Olympics and then less than 12 weeks to regroup with a new look panel for this competition.

“We’ve played three tough tournaments in one year at international level with the Euros, the Olympics and this qualifier. It is pretty unheard of so it was always going to be a tough ask after the Olympics to bring the group back together to come here and do the job.”

“I am so proud of us for doing that. Now, we have another amazing tournament to look forward to and prepare for.”

“This group needs to be going to major tournament after major tournament. This was the first roadblock after 2018 and this is a massive achievement. It may not seem like it is bigger than some of what we have done in the past but, for our sport, to continue to grow the way it has and to continue to inspire the next generation, it was so important for us.”

Next year’s Finals will take place between the 2nd and 17th July. They will be split up to the Quarter Final stage between the Netherlands and Spain with the Semi Finals and Final taking place at the Olympic Stadium in Terrassa, Northern Spain.

It’\s a great result for Softco, Saba and Park Developments who are the main commercial partners of the Women’s team.

 

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