Ireland’s World Cup dreams came to an in Perth after Canada fought back to win 2-1.
Katie McCabe gave Ireland an amazing start with a fourth minute goal from a corner-kick. However Canada equalised five minutes into first-half injury time.
Adriana Leon poked home what turned out to be the winning goal on 53 minutes, which secured victory for the Olympic champions.
Vera Pauw had made one change to the starting 11 as Lucy Quinn replaced Marissa Sheva. However, a late change was needed as Roscommon’s Heather Payne was withdrawn with a hamstring injury in the warm-up.
This meant Aine O’Gorman (Shamrock Rovers) became the first league of Ireland player to start a World cup game.
Ireland started on the front foot playing a very high line. Katie McCabe stunning Canada with a goal direct from a corner on four minutes.
McCabe gets Ireland first Women's World Cup goal
McCabe hung the ball under the cross bar with Canada goalkeeper Sheridan misjudging the ball as it swept past her gloves.
— Shannonside FM (@ShannonsideFM) July 26, 2023
Sinead Farrelly’s half volley was saved by Sheridan on 10 minutes. Ireland attacked on the front foot.
Canada’s first chance arrived on 24 minutes. Jordyn Huitema’s shot from range was easily dealt with by Courtney Brosnan.
Canada should have been level on the half-hour. Vanessa Gilles blasted Kadeisha Buchanan flick-on over the bar from the centre of the goal.
Denise O’Sullivan had Ireland’s next chance on 37 minutes as Ireland, showed composure in midfield. O’Sullivan shot was well over, but it showed how Ireland can use the ball in midfield.
Kyra Carusa’s half-chance was well saved by Sheridan on 42 minutes. McCabe the architect as Carusa ran onto the ball. Under pressure Carusa got a shot off from an angle which Sheridan pushed out for a corner.
Canada's injury-time equaliser
However disaster struck five minutes into first-half injury time. Grosso eventually got a cross in from the left, Megan Connolly gets the final touch and ball spins into the far corner of the net.
A goal Canada didn’t really deserve but a momentum swinger in the game.
The Canadians made three half-time changes with 40-year-old Christine Sinclair gaining her 324th cap. Ireland struggling with the changes having replaced Lucy Quinn with Abbie Larkin.
Brosnan produced a brilliant save on 50 minutes denying Jordyn Huitema’s drive. Canada stepping it up Leon’s shot fell easily for Brosnan two minutes later.
Canada take it on
A minute later and Canada were in-front. Sophie Schmidt ball into the box found Leon poke the ball past Katie McCabe and Brosnan into the net.
Those 10 minutes in the second-half were pivotal as Ireland’s struggled to contain Canada in defence and midfield.
Leon shot just wide three minutes later. Marissa Sheva replaced Aine O’Gorman and Ireland found some shape, but Canada used the ball better.
Kyra Carusa headed over on 64 minutes in Ireland’s first second-half chance. A decent chance, but Canada had enough players back.
Christine Sinclair didn’t expect a 67th minute chance, which was lucky for Ireland. Huitema’s header two minutes later saw Brosnan save.
Pauw gambled with changes including Amber Barrett as Ireland put three up-front. However a real chance never came.
McCabe Ireland’s best player, made a great run off the wing into the box with 10 minutes remaining and saw her shot deflected wide. The best Ireland would see of an equaliser.
Lilly Agg’s 30-yard shot on 90 minutes was easily saved by Sheridan and that was the best it got.
Ireland bow out of the World Cup. While they meet Nigeria on Monday, Ireland cannot progress. Vera Pauw’s side will look to claim some pride.