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Football | Barrett scores historic winner to send Ireland to the World Cup

The Republic of Ireland have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time after Amber Barrett's historic winner against Scotland at Hampden Park.


Ireland's 1-0 win play-off in Glasgow sees Vera Pauw's side join Portugal, who beat Iceland in Tuesday's other play-off, in next year's tournament in Australia and New Zealand.


Donegal native Barrett came off the bench to find the net in the 72nd minute, kissing her black armband afterwards in tribute to the victims of the tragic events at the service station in Creeslough.


Ireland made a bright start, with captain Katie McCabe looking dangerous, but Scotland were awarded a penalty in the 12th minute when Niamh Fahey was adjudged to have handled Martha Thomas' shot, which deflected onto the crossbar.


Caroline Weir stepped up from 12 yards, but Irish goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan guessed the right way to deny the Scottish midfielder.


Scotland upped the tempo as the half wore on, and wanted another penalty after a coming together between McCabe and Thomas in the box. This time, however, neither the referee nor VAR were interested in the appeals.





There was a bizarre moment later in the half when Megan Campbell's long throw-in evaded everyone and sailed into the net before being disallowed.


Aine O’Gorman should have given Ireland the lead in the 36th minute, but she headed McCabe's excellent cross over the bar.


Campbell's throw-ins continued to cause mayhem in the Scotland box, with one seeing Fahey have a header cleared off the line before Lily Agg's follow-up was saved and Diane Caldwell's goalbound effort was blocked by Sophie Howard.


Scotland started the second half on the front foot, with the lively Weir testing Brosnan with a shot as Pedro Martinez Losa' hosts searched desperately for a goal.


However, it was Ireland who grabbed the game's first and only goal.


Barrett replaced Heather Payne in the 66th minute and found a breakthrough just five minutes later.


Denise O’Sullivan played her through with an excellent low pass, and Barrett took a big first touch to race away from the Scottish defenders. Her second touch took her closer to goal, before a toe-poked finish into the far bottom corner left Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander with no chance.


Ireland held their never to maintain their lead under strong Scottish pressure, sealing a place in next year's World Cup, with Pauw and her players celebrating wildly on the pitch at full time.


What an historic night for Irish football.


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