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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 20 March, 2019
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Good and bad news for Ireland ahead of must-win World Cup qualifier

Louise Quinn is set to feature despite suffering a fractured nose, but Harriet Scott has been ruled out.

Defender Louise Quinn, who went off injured last Friday, is set to feature in Tuesday's crucial clash with Norway.
Defender Louise Quinn, who went off injured last Friday, is set to feature in Tuesday's crucial clash with Norway.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THERE WAS GOOD and bad news on the injury front for Ireland today, as they prepare for a crucial World Cup qualifier away to Norway at the Viking Stadion in Stavanger.

One key defender has been ruled out while another is set to feature – Harriet Scott’s knee injury means she will miss the match, however Arsenal star Louise Quinn is likely to start, despite suffering a fractured nose against the Norwegians last Friday at Tallaght Stadium.

The Blessington native is set to wear a protective mask, and her recovery, after she was taken off injured in the first half last week, is a much-needed boost for Colin Bell’s side.

In addition to Scott, Ireland are also without SC Sand’s Diane Caldwell at the back through suspension, after she picked up a third yellow card of the campaign in the home encounter with the Norwegians.

Speaking in relation to Scott’s injury, Bell said: “We worked hard with Harriet to try and get her fit but it wasn’t to be.

“I’m never going to risk the health of one of my players so I’ve made that decision to leave her out. It’s been great to have her around the squad though as she’s an important part of the journey we’re on and a great influence on the other players.

“We’ve been able to get Louise a mask so she should be okay for the match. We’ll obviously monitor it to make sure she feels she can play with the mask but her desire to play has been admirable.

“As soon as it happened, she wanted to get back on the pitch but we had to hold her back. It shows the passion and determination the players have for this team. They want to succeed and that’s fantastic for me to see.”

It is a crucial fixture for Ireland, who need to win to retain any realistic ambitions of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in France.

They currently sit third in the group, two points behind the Norwegians, who have a game in hand.

With two games remaining for Bell’s side, Friday’s loss, coupled with other results, means they can no longer qualify directly in first place.

unnamed (2) Ireland manager Colin Bell. Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

However, the Irish still have a chance of going through via the play-offs if they finish as one of the four best runners-up in the Uefa qualifying stage (more details here).

“It’s a simple equation for us now and in many ways, that can make the picture a lot clearer for the players,” Bell said.

“We’ve obviously just suffered defeat against Norway but we’ve been able to pick out so much from that game, which we can learn from. There were a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes in the game and the players have been able to see that.

“We’ve got to take what we’ve learnt into tomorrow night’s game and try our best to get the result we need. We’ve made a lot of progress throughout the campaign but we want to go all the way and so do the players.”

Meanwhile, it could be a landmark day for Peamount United attacker Aine O’Gorman.

The 29-year-old, who made her debut against Denmark in 2006, will win her 100th cap if selected for tomorrow’s game, which kicks off at 5pm Irish time and will be shown live on RTÉ2.

Republic of Ireland squad to face Norway

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Manchester City), Amanda Budden (Cork City), Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne Ladies).

Defenders: Sophie Perry (Brighton and Hove Albion), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire O’Riordan (Wexford Youths), Aislinn Meaney (Galway WFC)

Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (Peamount United), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United).

Attackers: Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne Ladies), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne Ladies), Zara Foley (Lakewood AFC), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United).

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Paul Fennessy

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