On October 11th, Ireland will play either Scotland or Austria in the World Cup playoffs, but two strong players, Ellen Molloy and Leanne Kiernan, will be out with injuries.
Kiernan, a talented striker, injured her ankle while playing for Liverpool FC against Chelsea on Sunday Sept. 18th; Liverpool defeated Chelsea 2-1. Liverpool FC said in a statement that Kiernan "may require surgery" and "is set to miss several months."
"It's obviously really disappointing," said LFC Women manager Matt Beard, but continued, "We have a squad to deal with these things and excellent medical staff to get Leanne back in great shape when she's ready." Kiernan herself has thanked fans for their support and said she is looking forward to returning as soon as she can, adding "See you soon."
— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) September 21, 2022
But the Republic of Ireland team has now suffered another blow, with Ellen Molloy confirmed to be unavailable for the playoffs. The teenage midfielder, who recently shone in the qualifying match against Slovakia, sustained a knee injury Saturday Sept. 17th while playing for Wexford Youths against Treaty United in the WNL; Wexford won 3-0. Molloy is currently undergoing scans to determine the severity of her injury.
Michaela Lawrence comes in for Ellen Molloy, who went down injured following a collision at the half way line.
Hopefully nothing too serious.
Youths 1-0 Treaty (22’)
— Wexford Youths Women (@YouthsWomen) September 17, 2022
Two strong players already out with injuries are another obstacle for team coach Vera Pauw, who already faces a challenging playoff: both Scotland and Austria are ranked higher than Ireland in the FIFA world rankings.