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Ireland proved they were the better team against Finland | Emma Byrne

Ireland beat Finland 2-1 by pressing high upfield from the start of the game, according to former Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne.

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

19:49 26 Oct 2021



Ireland proved they were the b...
Soccer

Ireland proved they were the better team against Finland | Emma Byrne

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

19:49 26 Oct 2021

Former Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne joined The Football Show to discuss Ireland's 2-1 win over Finland.

Megan Connolly opened the scoring with a fine free kick. Denise O'Sullivan smartly nodded in the second at the back post. Ireland beat Finland 2-1 in the second game of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

You can find OTBSports' player ratings for the game here.

Ireland are now third in their group behind Sweden, who have won all three of their games so far, and Finland who won their first two games. Sweden are expected to win the group, meaning Ireland and Finland will battle it out for second place. Second place in the group will enter a playoff with Australia or New Zealand to go to the World Cup.

As such, this victory away from home was huge for Vera Pauw's team. Former Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne was on hand to watch the game.

"It was a great result for Ireland," Byrne said.

"I believe Ireland and Finland have been quite even over the years."

Finland are the second-highest ranked team in the group. They were the favourites to come second in the group and were expected to get a positive result at home against Ireland.

Ireland entered the game up against it but what stood out to Byrne was how they pressed high up the field. They didn't show any fear of Finland, treating them as equals rather than trying to sit back and nick a goal on a counter-attack. That aggressive approach existed from the start.

"You could see that right from minute one that they were confident. They were pressing higher up the pitch, which was really nice to see. I think it completely changed the dynamics of the group because as soon as they started pressing higher up, it just allowed the back line to breathe a little bit.

"And they grew in confidence as well throughout the game."

Despite entering the game as the underdogs, Byrne saw Ireland as clearly the superior team on the day.

"They just looked the stronger team and they looked more likely to score. They looked more organized, they just all-around looked a better team. And that's going to be a massive boost for the girls going forward.

"Finland are a good side, they like to play football and we didn't allow them to do that."

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