Goalmouth action during the USA vs Republic of Ireland friendly international last month in St. Louis, Mo. [Inpho/Ryan Byrne]

South vs. North in Aviva debut for soccer women after World Cup

The Republic of Ireland Women’s team will play their first-ever game at the Aviva on Sept. 23 when they meet Northern Ireland in the opening game of the new Nations League. It will be the Republic’s first competitive game after their participation in the World Cup finals, which take place in Australia and New Zealand from July 20-Aug. 20. Up to now the Irish women played all their home games in Tallaght Stadium, where the capacity is around 6,000. So it will be interesting to see what the attendance will be like at the Ballsbridge venue where the capacity is 51,000. 

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Irish manager Vera Pauw said: ‘‘It is fantastic to know that our players will get to play in such an iconic stadium, one of the best in the world. Playing in the national stadium is another big jump forward for our team and we encourage our supporters to come out to get behind the team. We have had outstanding support in recent years in Tallaght Stadium, but we always said that if the right opportunity to play in the Aviva Stadium came along then we would look at it. This is that right opportunity and we want to have a record attendance to cheer the team on in their first game after the World Cup.’’

The Northern Ireland starting XI before a game in last year’s European Championships held in England. [Inpho/Presseye/William Cherry]