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McFerran targets redemption as Ireland aim to boost World title bid

 

By John Flack

Ayeisha McFerran has mixed emotions when she recalls the last time Ireland met India as she prepares for the rematch at the World Cup in London on Thursday.

The Larne woman was named player of the match after Ireland stunned the United States with a 3-1 opening victory on Saturday following an heroic performance between the posts.

Twelve months earlier, however, McFerran was shown a yellow card during the qualifying tournament in South Africa after conceding a penalty stroke when the Irish girls were trailing 1-0 to India.

But replacement keeper Grace O'Flanagan saved the stroke and Ireland went on to win the match 2-1 and ultimately progress to their first World Cup for 16 years, much to the relief of McFerran.

McFerran said: "I was devastated at the time I was sent off but then mightily relieved that we went on to win the game and get to London because of the result."

A draw with the Asians on Thursday might be enough for Ireland to get out of their group and secure a play-off for a quarter-final place, but McFerran says that her team can take nothing for granted.

India, who are ranked six places higher than Ireland, stunned the hosts on the opening day of the tournament when they scored an early goal to lead until the 54th minute before England netted a late equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw.

McFerran added: "They are definitely a better team than they were this time last year and that result proved it.

"But we're approaching the game with confidence after a great opening win over the Americans, and our aim is to get out of the group and be in with a chance of making the quarter-finals."

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