DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) — Ireland striker Evan Ferguson will miss his country’s two upcoming European Championship qualifiers because of a knee injury, the national team said Tuesday.
The Brighton teenager scored his first senior hat trick in a 3-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday and is considered one of Ireland’s brightest prospects.
The knee problem was confirmed after he joined up with his national team for the games against France and the Netherlands.
“After an assessment from the Irish medical team, he has been ruled out of both matches,” Ireland’s statement said, adding that the 18-year-old Ferguson had sustained the injury against Newcastle.
Ferguson’s absence is a big blow to Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for next summer’s tournament in Germany.
Ireland is currently in third place in Group B on three points after one win and two losses.
The win came against Gibraltar, with Ferguson scoring in the 3-0 victory.
Ireland plays beaten World Cup finalist France at Parc des Princes in Paris on Thursday and the Netherlands at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer