Vera Pauw believes her Republic of Ireland side has demonstrated further evidence of the progress they continue to make after a narrow defeat to Sweden in their opening 2023 World Cup qualifier.

An unfortunate own goal which deflected off Louise Quinn was the only goal of the game as the world's second highest ranked team emerged victorious at Tallaght Stadium.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Ireland manager Pauw said she was proud of the team's efforts in pushing the Swedes all the way.

"I can only say it was again better than previous times. We're stepping up and we're getting closer and closer and it's just such a shame that one moment that our organisation did not link, there was that one moment where there was the goal," she said.

"When they were up front, I said already to my assistant in the stands 'oops, this will be a goal' because she could see our organisation was gone for a moment and we need to learn that.

"But if we look at the whole game, then I think we can be so proud and I hope that Ireland is proud of these tigers. It's a shame but I'm so proud."

Goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan was Ireland's named player of the match after an impressive display, with the 25-year-old only beaten once with the own goal.

The Everton shot-stopped believes the Irish side can take pride from the way they kept Sweden at bay for long spells.

"I think we can be really, really proud of the performance we put in," she said.

"Obviously, it's a really positive start to the campaign and we're just looking to take that performance against Sweden and carry that onto Finland and moving forward for the rest of the campaign.

"So it shows what we're capable of and we can proud of ourselves. We're disappointed with the loss but holding our own against Sweden is something to be proud of for sure."

On her own solid showing, Brosnan added: "I've just come into camp and I wanted to do the best that I can for the team and help us get as far as we can. I believe so much in each and everyone one of these girls so I'm just doing whatever I can to help the team. That's what I'm here for."