Republic of Ireland’s friendly with Colombia suspended after 20 minutes due to play being ‘overly physical’

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Denise O’Sullivan was taken to hospital with a shin injury amid several rough challenges between the two teams; the result of O’Sullivan’s scan will be revealed on Saturday morning; the midfielder is one of the key players in the Republic of Ireland’s Women’s World Cup squad
The Republic of Ireland’s behind-closed-doors Women’s World Cup warm-up match against Colombia was called off after just 20 minutes for being “overly physical”.

The PA news agency understands the decision was made following a number of rough challenges in Friday’s contest.
After the abandoned game in Brisbane, Ireland midfielder Denise O’Sullivan was taken to hospital with a bang to the shin – with the results of her scan due to be discovered on Saturday morning.
After the match was brought to a premature end, the Republic team took part in a full training session.
Referee Caitlin Williams showed two yellow cards in the opening 19 minutes of the behind-closed-doors match before the horror challenge on O’Sullivan.
The Irish media did not witness the incident as they were blocked from entering the fixture by the Colombian federation.
It is understood that Colombia coach Nelson Abadia wanted to play behind closed doors to keep the team’s tactics secret.
However, footage from all pre-World Cup friendlies will be uploaded to the FIFA hub for other teams to analyse.

The injury to O’Sullivan comes just six days before the Republic kick off their Women’s World Cup campaign, as Vera Pauw’s team open the tournament on July 20 against co-hosts Australia.

O’Sullivan, who plays her club football for North Carolina Courage in the United States, is one of the key players in the team, alongside Arsenal midfielder Katie McCabe.

A statement from the Colombian Football Federation said it was Ireland’s choice to end the match early, adding that it accepted their decision.

“The friendly match that was to take place as part of today’s training between the Colombian Women’s national team and Ireland was suspended because the Irish preferred not to continue playing when 23 minutes of the first half had already elapsed.

“Although all the processes and training of our teams are framed within the rules of the game, healthy competition and fair play, we respect the decision of our rival team.”

What is the World Cup schedule?
The group stage will begin on July 20 and run over a two-week period finishing on August 3 and see group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.

The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.

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