The Republic of Ireland went down in Spain with a 3-0 scoreline and can no longer win Group 2 of qualifying for the Women’s European Championships.
But there is still hope they can qualify as a runner-up, providing they can finish above Finland. They trail Finland by three points and have played an extra game already, so will need the Finnish side to slip up twice out of their four remaining games.
The next qualifier will be crucial as Ireland are away to Finland and are currently behind on the head-to-head record having lost 2-0 at home to the Finnish players. The tie-breaker if teams finish equal on points is the head-to-head record.Should Ireland get maximum points from their remaining three games, they will reach 15 points.
Should Ireland get maximum points from their remaining three games, they will reach 15 points. Finland would reach those 15 points by beating Portugal twice, who are second from bottom in the group with three points in four games. That’s why Ireland need to win the next game by a bigger margin than 2-0 to put the pressure on the Finnish players and hope they collapse in other games.
A win by one goal only, like 1-0, would leave Ireland level on points with Finland on nine points but behind in the table and having to pick up more points with one game less to play. A 2-0 win would mean the tie-breaker would be the overall goal difference, which also favours Finland right now.
So, Ireland are still on course to qualify but will need a big win in June to keep their chances intact.