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First-choice goalkeeper ruled out as Pauw finalises Ireland squad for crucial Euro qualifier

Next Friday’s showdown against Ukraine in Kiev will be live on RTÉ.
Oct 16th 2020, 11:06 AM 3,542 3

VERA PAUW HAS finalised her Ireland squad for next week’s crucial European Championship qualifier against Ukraine.

First-choice goalkeeper Marie Hourihan has been ruled out of the 23-strong squad due to a dislocated finger, with Stephanie Roche also among the six players to miss out from the provisional panel.

niamh-fahey-celebrates-at-the-final-whistle-with-marie-hourihan Marie Hourihan (1) with Niamh Fahey (5). Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

While there were no changes to the 30-strong extended squad to that from before the recent Germany game, in-form Reading netminder Grace Moloney and Celtic defender Keeva Keenan make the cut in the trimmed-down set-up to face Ukraine.

The uncapped duo of Wexford Youths teenage sensation Ellen Molloy and Texas-born midfielder Ali Murphy are also included, while the Women’s National League [WNL] trio of Isibeal Atkinson, Claire Walsh and Jessica Ziu, and Australia-based Julie-Ann Russell have been left out.

A number of players are on standby ahead of the squad meeting up in Duisburg, Germany, for a training camp ahead of the game next Friday [KO 5pm Irish time, live on RTÉ 2].

Victory or a draw for the Girls In Green in Kiev would secure play-off spot as Group I’s runners-up with one game to go — Germany at home on 1 December — as Ireland look to make history and reach a first-ever major tournament.

Automatic qualification would also be in contention should they beat Ukraine, as the nine group winners and the three best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed team) qualify directly for the finals tournament in England.

Two-legged play-offs will be played among the remaining six runners-up in April 2021.

Ireland have lost just one of their group games so far — to favourites Germany last time out — and beat Ukraine 3-2 in Pauw’s first game in charge in Tallaght last October.


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They’ve also secured double wins over Montenegro, and a victory at home and a draw away to Greece. Ukraine are their runners-up spot rivals, though they currently trail Ireland by seven points. 

unnamed (2) Source: FAI.

Republic of Ireland WNT Squad

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Grace Moloney (Reading), Niamh Reid-Burke (Peamount United)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading), Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United)

Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Denise O’Sullivan (Brighton & Hove Albion – on loan from NC Courage), Alli Murphy (London City Lionesses), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Ruesha Littlejohn (Leicester City), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths)

Forwards: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge).

- Updated 18.00

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