“I feel we could have pinched a goal or two.” Katie McCabe on Ireland’s defeat to Lionesses

Arsenal Women’s Katie McCabe captained the Republic of Ireland as they faced England’s Lionesses last night, captained by Katie’s Arsenal teammate Leah Williamson, in the 2nd group game of the Women’s Euro 2025 qualifiers.

Goals from Lauren James and Alex Greenwood in the 1st half, gave the European champions the win. The Republic of Ireland pushed England’s Lionesses hard in the second half, vying for a goal, but fell to their 2nd second qualifying defeat.

“In the second half we pushed them right to the end,” McCabe said.

“I feel we could have pinched a goal or two.”

The Lionesses went 1-0 up, with a close-range goal from Chelsea’s Lauren James, within the first 12 minutes. Then Alex Greenwood converted a spot kick, after Ruesha Littlejohn was penalised for a handball, 6 minutes later. These would be the only goals of the match, despite Ireland really turning up the pressure on England in the 2nd half.

“The first half we were quite passive. We allowed them too much space, and for us, they were avoidable goals [to concede] and we’ll look to get better at that going forward,” Katie admitted.

“We know the qualities they have. We respected them too much in the first half and there were areas we could have got at them and that’s what we will look to do better.

“They are European champions and they showed their qualities in the end, and I think they were even timewasting at one point to run the game out which I was surprised at.”

The Lionesses now sit 2nd, behind France, while Ireland sit bottom in the ‘Group of Death’ – a group which has 3 of the top 6th ranked teams in the World. Ireland will face Sweden in May, while England will take on France, in their remaining group game.

“Obviously we’re disappointed. France was a really difficult game and we knew it was going to be difficult again against England, but we need to keep believing,” Katie said.

“We’ve got qualities in this team both from dead-ball situations and in open play as well.”

All players will now head back to their respective clubs. Arsenal Women face bottom-of-the-table Bristol City at Meadow Park, on Sunday 14th April, in their next WSL clash.

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Michelle M

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