Thursday, September 01, 2022

PA Sport Staff

Substitute Lily Agg was the hero as the Republic of Ireland beat Finland 1-0 to book a place in the 2023 Women’s World Cup play-offs.

There was a record attendance of 6,952 at the Tallaght Stadium to see if Vera Pauw’s side could take a huge step towards next summer’s finals in Australia and New Zealand.

Agg provided the moment the Dublin crowd had waited for from a 54th-minute free-kick.

Finland’s marking left a lot to be desired and Agg, who had replaced Ruesha Littlejohn five minutes before the break, made no mistake with her free header.

Denise O’Sullivan and Louise Quinn had earlier gone close to breaking the deadlock.

Finland created few chances during a tense encounter, although home goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan came to her side’s rescue in the first half.

The Republic – third seeds when the draw was made in April 2021 – travel to Slovakia for their final qualifier on Tuesday with second place behind group winners Sweden guaranteed.

The play-off matches will be held at the start of October.

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