Albania's Sara Maliqi tackles Sinead Farrelly of Ireland at Tallaght Stadium last Friday night. [Inpho/Tom Maher]

WNT promoted to League A

Two victories over Albania, one at home at Tallaght Stadium and the other in Loro Broici Stadium, Shkoder, have earned the Republic of Ireland's Women's National Team promotion to League A of the UEFA Nations League. An 88th minute goal from Denise O'Sullivan gave the Irish a 1-0 win in the away game on Tuesday and victory in their group with two games to spare.

Katie McCabe scored a hat-trick to bring her goals tally to 25 as the Republic beat the Albanians 5-1 in the qualifier on Friday night. McCabe also provided two assists for the other goals which were scored by Kyra Carusa, who plays her club football for San Diego Wave.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Diane Caldwell became the 7th Republic of Ireland woman to win 100 caps and she was handed the captain’s armband on Friday. Caldwell now joins the list of Irish centurions that includes: Emma Byrne (134), Aine O’Gorman (119), Niamh Fahey (111), Louise Quinn (111), Denise O’Sullivan (108) and Ciara Grant (105).

Also on Friday Northern Ireland lost 3-2 to Hungary in Gyor, and on Tuesday it was a 1-1 in Belfast.

Republic will host Hungary in Tallaght Stadium on Dec. 1 and are away to Northern Ireland in Belfast on Dec. 5.

Meanwhile the Republic of Ireland’s men team have slipped three more places in the FIFA ranking to 58th place. The Republic now sit directly below Burkino Faso (56) and Saudi Arabia (57). The Boys in Green were ranked 34th when Kenny took charge of the national team in April 2020. Northern Ireland have dropped one place to 75th. Elsewhere, Argentina continue to sit atop the pile in first place with France and Brazil still second and third. England are 4th, Scotland are in 34th place while Wales move into the top 30 as their recent wins over Croatia and Gibraltar sees them climb to 28th.