women’s team continue to upset the odds. Under the captaincy of Galway’s Dora Gorman, they defeated favourites Germany in the European Championships semi-final yesterday to become the first Irish team to qualify for a major finals in the women’s game.
Germany went into this game with a three-year unbeaten record without conceding a goal in their last six competitive games. But that all changed in the 38th minute of yesterday’s semi-final. Ciara O’Brien was fouled 30 yards from goal and Megan Campbell despatched the free kick into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of Lena Nuding.
Gorman became instrumental for Noel King’s side when the inevitable backlash came from the Germans. The centre midfielder worked tirelessly for the remainder of the game, going from box to box, breaking up the opposition play and setting up Ireland attacks.
Gorman, who plays soccer with Salthill Devon, hockey with Greenfields, and Gaelic football with Galway, was slow to accept any personal plaudits and instead spoke of the team effort.
“It was a real team performance everyone played really well and we are all delighted really,” said the Taylor’s Hill student.
“ It was a tough match, but we kept going and once we got the goal, we kept our composure and our focus. They did come at us a bit in the end, but we kept strong and we kept them out.
“After beating Germany we have a really good chance going into the final and we must start to focus straight away. We are preparing for the final now and our coaches have watched the Spanish game so they will be preparing our tactics for us.”
With the team now qualified for the World Cup, Gorman was quick to point out that her team had only one goal at the moment.
“The main thing is we are in the final and playing on television shouldn’t bring any extra nerves really. We haven’t thought about the World Cup because our focus is on winning here and now that means we are focusing on the final and winning it.
"Since we qualified for the finals, the level of support from people back home has been phenomenal. There is no denying that it was a great achievement to qualify for these finals, the first time a women's football team from Ireland has done so. While it is a historic achievement, I don't think that we are happy to accept that fact just yet.”