Key events

55 min: For Canada, Quinn plays the ball forward towards the edge of the Irish box. The Girls in Green are unable to clear properly and Leon tries a shot. It bounces narrowly wide of the far post. Ireland are seriously under the cosh in this second half and as things stand, will be playingh for nothing more than pride in their final group game against Nigeria.

GOAL! Canada 2-1 Rep of Ireland (Leon 54)

Canada lead! Adriana Leon runs on to diagonal through ball in behind from Sinclair and prods the ball past Brosnan from six yards out under pressure from Katie McCabe.

51 min: It’s an ominously improved performance from Canada in the early stages of this second half but truth be told, they could scarcely play any worse than they did in the opening 45 minutes.

49 min: Great save! Ireland goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan palms the ball away as Christine Sinclair cuts inside from the left and unleashes a shot. It was heading in but Brosnan got across to keep it out.

46 min: Ireland substitution: Abbie Larkin is on for Lucy Quinn. Canada triple-substitution: Sophie Schmidt, Christine Sinclair and Shelina Zadorsky on for Julia Grosso, Evelyne Viens and Kadeisha Buchanan.

Second half: Canada 1-1 Rep of Ireland

46 min: After suffering that gut-punch at the end of the first half, Ireland get the second half under way. They can take heart from an excellent performance on their part so far, while Canada have been surprisingly poor. There have been changes on both teams and we’ll bring you news of them presently.

Half-time: Canada 1-1 Rep of Ireland

Peep! Referee Laura Fortunato signals the end of the first half and it’s all square. Canada have been little short of diabolical but have managed to get back to the dressing-room having restored parity after Katie McCabe’s sensational early opener was cancelled out by a spookily similar fluke just before the break.

47+8 min: Canada midfielder Vanessa Gilles goes close with a header but sends the ball wide.

45+7 min: Yes, yes. You’ll have noticed that when Ireland score with a cross that practically goes straight in, it’s a contender for the Puskas Award. When Canada do more or less the same thing it’s “a bit of a fluke”.

GOAL! Canada 1-1 Rep of Ireland (Conmnolly 45og)

Canada equalise!!! It looks like a bit of a fluke. It’s a Julia Grosso cross from the left that appears to bounce through the Irish defence and sneak in at the far post after taking a barely perceptible touch off Megan Connolly.

Canada equalise! Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO/Shutterstock

45+3 min: The rain is torrential as Buchanan is receives treatment after shipping that thunderbolt from Farrelly in the chest. That poor woman really is having a miserable time of it this evening.

Kadeisha Buchanan goes down after taking the full force of a long ranger. Photograph: Alex Grimm/FIFA/Getty Images

45+1 min: With the rain hammering down almost sideways in Perth, Katie McCabe sends the ball into the Canada penalty area. The ball is only half-cleared and drops for Sinead Farrelly, whose shot is blocked by Buchanan. The ball hit her hand from close range, but the hand was in front of her chest so it’s no foul.

45 min: Ireland win a throw-in deep in Canada territory, then a corner as we go into five minutes of added time.

43 min: I think Kadeisha Buchanan was a very lucky lady there. Already on a yellow card, I suspect she may have got a second one and the red that comes with it if Carusa had gone down on that occasion. I could be wrong as I haven’t had the benefit of a replay yet but I won’t be a bit surprised if Buchanan is hooked at half-time. She’s having a nightmare in the heart of Canada’s defence and simply cannot cope with Kyra Carusa.

41 min: Carusa outruns Buchanan to latch on to a long ball from deep. Buchanan looks to tug at her again just outside the penalty are but the Irish striker stays on her feet. She’s able to fashion a shot on goal from a tight angle but Sheridan saves comfortably.

39 min: There are sarcastic cheers from the Irish fans behind Courtney Brosnan’s goal as Ashley Lawrence sends a shot from outside the area arrowing towards outer space. That ball could end up in the belly of one of the bull sharks known to frequent the local Swan River.

37 min: Ireland go forward again and Denise O’Sullivan latches on to a through ball from Sinead Farrelly and tries her luck from distance. Her effort sails over the bar.

36 min: Kadeisha Buchanan gets the first yellow card of the game for a cynical tug on Kyra Carusa, who is giving the Canada defender a torrid time of it with her relentless harrying and pressing.

34 min: Quinn advances upfield for Canada but is forced to pass the ball backwards when no options present themselves.

32 min: Ireland win a free-kick just inside their own half and Aine O’Gorman gets the ball launched from deep. Canada clear at the edge of their own penalty area.

29 min: Lawrence seems fit to continue and play resumes. Canada win themselves a corner. Jessie Fleming swings the ball into the Ireland box but it’s cleared at the near post by McCabe. Canada recycle the ball and Vanessa Gilles hooks over from about six yards out after getting on the end of a flick from Buchanan. That was a wonderful chance and she should have scored!!!

27 min: Lawrence is still receiving treatment and looks like she’s getting an onfield concussion test. She gets to her feet and retreats to the touchline looking a little dazed.

Ashley Lawrence is checked for a concussion at pitchside. Photograph: Colin Murty/AFP/Getty Images

24 min: There’s another break in play so Ashley Lawrence can receive treatment for a head injury.

22 min: There’s a break in playt so Canada goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan can receive treatment for an injury … or possibly an “injury”. Canada manager Bev Priestman avails of the window to give an impromptu team pep-talk, while her staff distribute some energy gels to the players. On the evidence of their play so far, they need both.

19 min: Carusa pressures a Canadian defender into conceding a corner, which is taken by Megan Connolly. It’s one of the training ground but doesn’t quite come off and ends with Canada half-clearing as far as Katie McCabe. Her wild shot through the penalty area doesn’t get a fortuitous ricochet.

17 min: Kadeisha Buchanan tries to thread a low ball forward from deep but her pass is wayward and intercepted. Canada are unsewttled under Ireland’s press and increasingly relying on long, often aimless balls forward.

16 min: “They look a bit sluggish, like they’re not quite at the races,” muses my occasional colleague Lucy Ward, one of the best in the co-comms business, on ITV.

14 min: Quinn advances upfield for Canada but gives the ball away cheaply, which is not like them. The North American side look a bit rattled after that early setback.

Quinn and Canada looked stunned. Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/FIFA/Getty Images

12 min: Ireland win a throw-in near the halfway line and Farrelly receives the ball before sending a cross into the Canada box. The Olympic champions clear.

11 min: On this occasion, McCabe’s delivery isn’t so good and the ball is headed clear at the near post by Evelyne Viens.

10 min: With her back to goal, Carusa chests down a ball for Sinead Farrelly who lets fly from outside the penbalty area. Her low drive is steered behind by Sheridan and Ireland have another corner.

9 min: The Republic of Ireland have a shout for a penalty turned down as Katie McCabe rampages into the Canada penalty area and goes down under a challenge from Buchanan to the left of the goal. No spot-kick is awarded.

7 min: That was a wonderful strike from McCabe, who spotted Sheridan a yard or two off her line and whipped her delivery from the corner goalwards. The ball swung in under the crossbar and while the backpedalling Sheridan may have got a fingertip or two to the ball, she was powerless to keep it out.

6 min: It’s a perfect start for Ireland, who won their corner when Kyra Taylor Carusa tried and failed to bundle home a wonderful Lucy Quinn cross from the right under pressure from Sheridan.

GOAL! Canada 0-1 Rep of Ireland (McCabe 4)

Get in! Katie McCabe scores directly from a corner, her vicious inswinger completely outfoxing Kailen Sheridan in the Canada goal. That is an incredible effort!

Oh, that’s going in! Photograph: Alex Grimm/FIFA/Getty Images
Ireland take the lead! Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images

3 min: Canada central defender Kadeisha Buchanan is forced to deal with a dodgy pass in front of her own goal and does well to get the ball away under extreme pressure.

2 min: Ireland’s fans reach for the songbook, open it at page one and blast out a rousing rendition of “Ole! Ole! Ole! Oirland! Oirland!” Katie McCabe wins and takes a throw-in just inside the Canada half.

Canada v Ireland is go!

1 min: Canada get the ball rolling but quickly lose it. The pitch is quite slick and wet following a long downpour in Perth.

An email: “Crack of dawn greetings from California,” writes Mary Waltz. “This is the World Cup, built on the notion of countries competing, so you rooting for the Republic is not a journalistic red card. You like to view yourself as a hardened cynic but the sight of the green breaks down your shell just a bit, eh? Go Irish ?” A cynic? Moi?

Not long now: Led by Argentinian referee Laura Fortunato, both sets of players march up the steps from the bowels of the stadium and line up for the national anthems. It’s a wet night in Perth and there appears to be a huge Irish contingent in the sold out 20,500-capacity stadium.

Heather Payne is out for Ireland …

Ireland’s right wing-back Heather Payne was an injury doubt before the game and is currently standing by the dug-out dabbing her eyes with a hankerchief after being forced to pull out during the warm-up. SHe’ll be replaced by Aine O’Gorman.

Aine O’Gorman has received a late call-up to the Irish starting XI after Heather Payne pulled out during the warm-up with a tight hamstring. Photograph: Luisa González/Reuters

What’s in store? Cards on the table – as an Irishman I make no bones about the fact I want the Girls in Green to win this game, but as somebody with Canadian out-laws (who are hockey mad and have zero interest in football even if my nephew did send me a Halifax Wanderers hoodie earlier this year) … well, I still want Ireland to batter the Canadians.

Ideally, we’ll get a cracking game of football today but the omens look bleak. Both managers are notoriously risk averse and tend to send out well-organised, defensively obdurate sides who are curtrently struggling to score goals. A feast of free-flowing, attacking football seems unlikely.

Given the huge number of Irish people who live and work in Perth, tonight’s match could be like a home game for the Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Luisa González/Reuters
Some Canada fans are pictured at the Rectangular Stadium in Perth/Boorloo. Photograph: Will Russell/FIFA/Getty Images

Those teams: Canada’s skipper Christine Sinclair is omitted from the starting line-up, the 40-year-old striker dropping to the bench at her sixth World Cup. Chelsea’s Jessie Fleming returns to the side after recovering from injury.

With Heather Payne and Louise both passed fit to play, Vera Pauw makes just one change to the Ireland side that lost against Australia. Lucy Quinn comes into the front three in place of Marissa Sheva.

Vera Pauw on Canada: “Canada is a different team than Australia,” said the Irish manager. They have more flexibility and creativity in their team. Their biggest threat is their experience. They know how to win games and finals. Against Nigeria, Christy Sinclair missed a penalty. If the penalty went in, they would have won and it would be a completely different situation for both of us.

“Jessie Fleming is a huge player for them. Their playing style hasn’t changed and their dangers remain the same. Sinclair is a player who you won’t see for a while and suddenly, then she scores. We need to find a way to get to their goal.”

Ireland manager Vera Pauw (centre) oversees training in Perth. Photograph: Luisa González/Reuters

Bev Priestman on the Rep of Ireland: “If I was her [Pauw], I’m not sure whether I’d change a thing,” said the Canadian manager. “Against Ireland, it’s about moving the ball to break down that solid block. It’s trying to keep the tempo of the game, rather than be lured into that slow rhythm. That can happen when you’re in possession, then waiting for someone to give it back. Ball speed will be a critical component of breaking them down.”

Canada head coach Bev Priestman addresses the ladies and gentlemen of the press. Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/FIFA/Getty Images

Canada v Republic of Ireland line-ups

Canada: Sheridan, Riviere, Buchanan, Gilles, Lawrence, Quinn, Fleming, Grosso, Huitema, Viens, Leon.

Subs: D’Angelo, Chapman, Zadorsky, Rose, Sinclair, Schmidt, Prince, Carle, Lacasse, Awujo, Smith, Proulx.

Rep of Ireland: Brosnan, Connolly, Louise Quinn, Fahey, McCabe, Littlejohn, O’Sullivan, Payne, Farrelly, Carusa, Lucy Quinn.

Subs: Moloney, O’Riordan, Mustaki, Caldwell, Barrett, Agg, O’Gorman, Larkin, Sheva, Grant, Atkinson, Walsh.

Referee: Laura Fortunato (Argentina)

Early team news

Louise Quinn looks set to start for the Republic of Ireland, despite concerns over a foot injury she picked up in their opener against the Republic of Ireland that left her hobbling around in a protective plastic boot. The Birmingham City centre-back has 106 caps for her country and came through training unscathed yesterday.

Quinn was Ireland manager Vera Pauw’s only major injury concern, although wing-back Heather Payne trained with strapping on her thigh yesterday after feeling tightness in her hamstring.

Canada midfielder Jessie Fleming was forced to sit out her team’s scoreless draw with Nigeria but is available for selection in Perth today.

Louis Quinn has recovered from a foot injury and is available to take her place in the heart of Ireland’s defence today. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO/Shutterstock

Group B: Canada v Rep of Ireland

Usually the home of Perth Glory and Western Force, the Perth Rectangular Stadium is the venue for today’s match between Canada and Ireland. While it’s not must-win for the Irish following their defeat at the hands of Australia, it’s certainly must-not-lose and anything less than a draw will ruin any chance Vera Pauw’s side have of advancing to the knockout stages.

Olympic champions Canada could only draw their opening game against a Nigeria team ranked 40th in the world but know a win here will leave them set fair to make it through to the last 16. Kick-off on the west coast is at 1pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

Ireland’s Megan Connolly makes her way out on to the pitch ahead of training yesterday. Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/FIFA/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *