The women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand gets underway in a week, and the preparations for Niamh Fahey took a physical turn after their final friendly was cancelled.
The Liverpool Women captain is just one of two Reds at this summer’s World Cup, representing the Republic of Ireland in their first major tournament.
They are due to play Australia (July 20), Canada (July 26) and Nigeria (July 31) in the competition proper, and to aid in their preparations a behind-closed-doors friendly was organised against Colombia.
Turns out it was not so friendly, though.
After just 20 minutes, the match was abandoned following a heavy tackle on Ireland midfielder Denise O’Sullivan, who was sent to the hospital after a hit to the shin.
A statement from the Football Association of Ireland read: “The behind-closed-doors game between the Ireland Women’s National Team and Colombia on Friday evening was ended after 20 minutes of play.
“The game, which was held in Meakin Park, Brisbane, became overly physical and it was decided, following consultation with the match officials, to end the game.”
With only six days until their opener against the hosts, Ireland went on to use the time to undertake a full training session – but they will need to wait until Saturday to find out how serious O’Sullivan’s injury is.
No media were allowed access to the friendly so particulars beyond the physical nature of the match are unknown, but it is far from ideal for Ireland who will have trusted the game could be played without overt risk of injuries.
Fahey was at the heart of Ireland’s defence during their qualifiers for the World Cup and will face a tough test to help guide her team to the knockout stages this summer.
The Reds captain is joined by club team-mate Fuka Nagano in the World Cup, the midfielder represents Japan and is expected to be an integral member for her country this summer.