Republic of Ireland v Scotland: How can Pauw's side qualify for the World Cup?

Republic Of Ireland V Scotland: How Can Pauw's Side Qualify For The World Cup?
The Republic of Ireland are playing in one of three European playoff finals, with the top two winners qualifying for the World Cup. Photo: Inpho
Share this article
Muireann Duffy

The journey to a first major tournament for the Republic of Ireland has been a long road, but under the guidance of Vera Pauw, the squad has come closer than ever before.

Despite the heartbreak of missing out on qualification for this summer's Euros, they've rallied and are back again vying for a spot in next year's World Cup, which will be held between Australia and New Zealand.


Standing in their way is Scotland, on home soil, who are currently ranked 23rd in the world, just three spots above Pauw's charges.

The qualification process is far from simple, so here's everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday's game...

When & where?

Getting the basics out of the way, the Republic of Ireland's game against Scotland will be played at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Tuesday evening.

The game kicks off at 8pm, with live coverage on RTÉ Two and the RTÉ Player from 7.45pm.


Esther Staubli of Switzerland will referee the game and the FAI has confirmed that a minute's silence will be observed before kick-off and Irish players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect for those killed in Friday's explosion in Creeslough, Co Donegal.

Pauw has a 27-strong panel to choose from, however, Savannagh McCarthy and Ruesha Littlejohn are among those missing out through injury.

What's the lay of the land?

The Republic of Ireland's fixture is one of three playoffs finals on Tuesday evening.

Also down for decision is Portugal v Iceland and Switzerland v Wales, both of which kick off at 6pm.

All the games go to extra-time in the event of a draw after 90 minutes, after which it goes to penalties. If the game is won on penalties, the result is classified as a draw, with the winner receiving just one point.


Of the three winning teams from Tuesday's games, two will secure qualification for the World Cup.


The two qualifying teams will be determined on points accrued from the whole qualifying campaign, including group-stage games and the playoff finals.

If two teams are tied on overall points, the team that's ahead on goal difference will take the spot, or failing that, the team that has scored more goals throughout the campaign.

Currently, the Republic of Ireland's 17 points puts them third behind Switzerland (19 points) and Iceland (18 points).

In terms of goal difference, Pauw's side are level with Iceland on 22, while Switzerland are three behind on 19. The Girls in Green lead the way in goals scored (26), followed closely by Iceland (25) and then Switzerland (23).

So, the Republic of Ireland need a win?

Pretty much, but not just that, we also need to hope that Portugal and Wales do their part so we can leapfrog at least one of either Iceland or Switzerland.

If Ireland were to win on penalties, giving them one additional point, they would need Iceland to lose to be in with a chance of qualifying. Such a scenario would put them both on 18 points, bringing it down to goal difference.

A win for the Republic would only put them ahead of Switzerland if they're defeated by Wales, while a win after penalties for the Swiss would draw the two teams level on 20. If this were to happen, it would again go to goal difference.

The Swiss result could also prove irrelevant for us if we get a win and Iceland either lose or win after penalties. In this case, Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland would take the qualification spots.

In short, if the Republic of Ireland win and either Switzerland or Iceland lose, we're through.

But what if the Republic of Ireland don't win?

While it wouldn't be ideal, failing to qualify at this stage wouldn't be the end of the road for the team's World Cup hopes.

Placing third would enter them into the Inter-Confederation playoffs, which will be held in New Zealand next February.

Ten teams will compete in the tournament, with the top three taking the last spots in the World Cup.

If this comes to pass, the Republic of Ireland would be top seeds in their group, meaning they would face the winner of two lower-seeded teams. Win that game, qualify for the World Cup.

What are the odds looking like for an Irish win over Scotland?

The bookies have the Republic of Ireland at 10/3 to win, while a Scottish win is at 13/20. A draw is at 5/2.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by