O'Sullivan and Connolly named in Pauw's Irish womens squad for the Ukraine qualifier

O'Sullivan and Connolly named in Pauw's Irish womens squad for the Ukraine qualifier

Denise O'Sullivan of Republic of Ireland in action against Sara Däbritz of Germany during the UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships Qualifier Group I match between Germany and Republic of Ireland at Stadion Essen in Essen, Germany. Photo by Marcel Kusch/Sportsfile

TWO Cork  players Denise O'Sullivan and Megan Connolly, both currently playing with Brighton, have been named in the latest senior Ireland squad for the upcoming game against Ukraine on October 23rd.

Both played in the recent defeat to Germany and both will be expected to start in midfield in a few weeks time as Ireland seek to get their 2022 UEFA Women's European Championships qualification campaign back on track.

Manager Vera Pauw has confirmed a 30-player squad for what is their penultimate game in Group I - with a home game against Germany to come on December 1st - and knowing that victory would secure a Play-Off spot.

Ireland’s Megan Connolly and Germany’s Svenja Huth
Ireland’s Megan Connolly and Germany’s Svenja Huth

Group leaders Germany have already made sure of a place at EURO 2022, but second place - which is currently occupied by Ireland - remains up for grabs. 

A best runners-up spot, that guarantees automatic qualification, is also in contention.

As per UEFA rules, the nine group winners and the three best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed team) qualify directly for the final tournament, while the remaining six runners-up advance to the two-legged Play-Offs that will be played in April 2021.

Ireland overcame Ukraine 3-2 in Tallaght Stadium on October 8th, 2019 (which was Pauw's first game in charge) and will be hoping to complete the double over the team who currently trail them by seven points.

There are no new additions to the squad that was announced for last month's loss away to Germany with nine Women's National League players receiving call-ups.

Republic of Ireland WNT Squad:

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

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading), Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), 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), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Stephanie Roche (Peamount United), Julie-Ann Russell (Sydney University) 

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).

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