Amber Barrett stepped off the bench to send the Republic of Ireland to the Women’s World Cup for the very first time with a 1-0 playoff victory over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday evening.

The substitute was on target 18 minutes from time to seal a famous victory for Vera Pauw’s side and book their place in Australia and New Zealand next summer.

It was disappointment for Scotland, who saw a spot kick saved in the first half and miss out on a place in a second successive major tournament, having failed to qualify for Euro 2022.

Scotland had gotten the better of a good Austria side to set up Tuesday’s encounter with the Republic of Ireland – who were missing key players Leanne Kiernan, Jess Ziu and Ruesha Littlejohn through injury.

The hosts had a golden opportunity to take a first half lead after Martha Thomas’ effort was handled onto the bar by Niamh Fahey, but Courtney Brosnan saved magnificently to keep out Caroline Weir’s spot kick.

Megan Campbell’s long throws were wreaking havoc for the Republic of Ireland, with Sophie Howard twice clearing off the line after one of the Liverpool defender’s trademark launches had caused chaos in the Scotland penalty box as the first half finished goalless.

The Republic of Ireland took the lead with 18 minutes remaining. Denise O’Sullivan sent Barrett scampering away with a fabulous pass, and the substitute burst away from the Scotland backline and found the bottom corner.

Brosnan did well to keep out an Erin Cuthbert effort as the clock ticked down and Rachel Corsie nodded wide in the dying stages as the Republic of Ireland saw the game out to make history.

“i can’t actually believe it,” Katie McCabe told BBC Sport. “It doesn’t feel real, it hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just so proud of the girls, the performance. It wasn’t pretty tonight at all.

“Unbelievable save from Courtney for the penalty, we put our bodies on the line, we worked for each other, we ran for each other. That’s what this team is all about…unbelievable.”


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