Amber Barrett of Republic of Ireland in action against Clare Polkinghorne of Australia during the women's international friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Australia at Tallaght Stadium
Amber Barrett played her part as a second-half header from Louise Quinn secured a historic win for the Republic of Ireland as they overcame Australia 3-2 at Tallaght Stadium on Tuesday.
It is Ireland's biggest win over a higher-ranked opponent in over two decades and they set off to achieve it straight away with Barrett, a native of Milford who plays for 1. FC Köln, unleashing a stinging shot inside two minutes.
Australia barely had a chance to catch their breath when debutant Lucy Quinn curled a powerful free-kick at goal, which struck the post and rebounded in off goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.
The game was back and forth in many ways but Ireland were never outclassed by a team led by star striker Sam Kerr, who was marking her 100th appearance.
Mary Fowler twice got the visitors back into the contest, albeit with a bit of luck, but Ireland also profited when a strike from Denise O'Sullivan was deflected in.
At the end of a thrilling first half, it was 2-2 but Ireland will have felt that they were slightly on top. And they continued to play with confidence in the second period.
Louise Quinn powered in a header early in that half to reassert a lead that they would not surrender as Pauw's team showed how recent performances against top-quality opponents stood to them.
Ireland, who were roared on by a vocal crowd, finished the game by battling for every ball and proving that they belonged in competition against such a good team.
Vera Pauw's team snapped a losing streak by recording this deserved victory in front of 3,314 supporters at Tallaght Stadium against a team who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.
Next up is their 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup campaign, starting at home to Sweden on October 21st.
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