Republic of Ireland forward Kyra Carusa insists her team showed they can compete with the best despite a 1-0 World Cup loss to Australia.
It’s a sign of the spirit and unity of this Ireland team that everyone reached out to Marissa Sheva following the ultimately game-changing indiscretion to offer a few words of comfort. Kyra Carusa was one of the first to arrive.
“I only told him that there were a lot of minutes and a lot of games to play in this World Cup,” said the striker. A lot, so don’t let that define anything. Keep your head up, don’t let them see you cry. There are still many games to play in this World Cup.’
Carusa forged a lonely path at times at Stadium Australia, given the thankless job of leading the line when the rest of his team were at the other end of the field. But he did a good job and feels Ireland’s second-half performance means they can look forward to the remaining two group games with plenty of confidence.
“My immediate thought is how impressive he was at the end of the game and how many chances we had and we can carry that over to the next game.” That’s confidence and that’s being able to play against Canada and Nigeria, if we bring that into our game much sooner.”
Lucy Quinn helped turn the game around when she came off the bench in the second half and feels Ireland benefit from the way teams underestimate them. And the Birmingham City midfielder feels that Ireland will simply improve and grow from their performance against the Matildas.
Republic of Ireland’s Kyra Carusa (pictured) believes her team proved they can compete against Australia in their World Cup opener.
Marissa Sheva (right) conceded the match-winning penalty, but Carusa insists she has the full support of her teammates following her costly mistake.
‘When we conceded the penalty and the goal, we didn’t sit back and get angry. We had corner after corner and we could have gotten a point,” Quinn said. “I think the feeling in camp is that we think we’re good enough to compete here and I’m sure we’ll feel even more encouraged now after that performance against the host team with a great crowd.”
Many teams have underestimated us. We talked about that a lot in preparation. Hopefully the teams will see that and respect us because we will get stronger during the tournament.”
However, Australian attacker Caitlin Foord felt her team deserved all three points and perhaps should have scored even more, despite Ireland restricting them to several off-target shots.
‘We dominated possession, we created a lot and it would have been nice to score more, but at the end of the day it was just about getting the result. We got the win so we’re happy,” said the Arsenal star. She and she insisted that she was not worried when Ireland hurled the kitchen sink and more at the Australians in the last 15 minutes.
I mean that’s what happens. Normally when you lead, there is a little bit of pressure. They had gone for a goal, we need to defend but to be honest, our back line and our goalkeeper Macker [Mackenzie Arnold] they were absolutely solid and I didn’t feel nervous at all. I had complete faith in what we had and knew that nothing would escape us.’
Foord said the Matildas were keen to lift Sam Kerr’s spirits after it was confirmed their talismanic captain would miss the first two World Cup games, but he also acknowledged that Ireland had played well in their World Cup opener.
‘Yes, definitely. They’re a good team, they’re hard to take down and as you’ve seen, we only scored one goal against them, we had a couple of shots but they put their bodies forward and we knew that’s how they were going to be. All credit to them, great game, first game of the World Cup, I thought they came out and did great.