Limerick woman Claire O'Riordan, right, and Amber Barrett, celebrate the Republic of Ireland's FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 qualifier win away to Slovakia on Tuesday
LIMERICK woman Claire O'Riordan played a leading role as the Republic of Ireland women's side boosted their hopes of qualifying for next year's World Cup after securing a gritty 1-0 victory over Slovakia in Senec on Tuesday.
The three points saw the second-placed Republic of Ireland secure a first-round bye in the Women's World Cup play-offs, and ensures the Girls In Green finished their Group A campaign with a win. The play-off game will take place on October 11.
The game saw talented Newcastle West woman Claire O'Riordan come into the starting team in place of Megan Connolly who was ruled out with broken ribs. It was O'Riordan's first competitive start since 2018 in the international fixture with Norway.
The highly-rated Limerick woman turned in an impressive display as Denise O'Sullivan's first half goal helped the Rep of Ireland claim a precious win.
Twenty seven-year-old O'Riordan joined Scottish giants Celtic FC Women from German side Duisburg in recent weeks.
O'Riordan has played camogie and Ladies Gaelic football for Limerick
She played camogie with Newcastle West and Ladies Football with Monagea before joining up with Wexford Youths soccer side while in college in IT Carlow.
O'Riordan first made her name in the Women's National League with Wexford as a striker.
There, the highly rated O'Riordan won league titles and the FAI Cup.
She converted to centre-back following her move to Germany with Duisburg in 2018 and has been a regular in Republic of Ireland Women's Senior squads.
Ireland will learn their play-off opponents when the draw is made this Friday. Vera Pauw's side is looking to qualify for the World Cup finals to be staged in Australia and New Zealand next July and August for the first time.
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