HOCKEY: World Cup finals dream still alive for Ireland women in spite of loss to Argentina

Ireland's  Katie Mullan
Ireland's Katie Mullan

IRELAND 1 ARGENTINA 2

A defensive masterclass from Ireland wasn’t quite enough to topple world number three Argentina in Tuesday’s quarter final.

But Ireland’s World Cup dreams are still very much in reach with a fifth place finish enough to book their spot at the tournament.

Argentina came out of the blocks firing with Mario Granatto sending a reverse strike across the face of goal and Rocio Sanchez’s effort saved by Ayeisha McFerran in the opening minutes.

But Ireland settled into the game and Katie Mullan, leading by example as ever, set up the Green Army’s first chance with a ball to the waiting Deirdre Duke in the circle.

The opening goal came in the 25th minute and was more a result of Irish error than spectacular attacking. A mis-trap saw the ball fall to captain Delfina Merino who calmly rounded McFerran at the top of the circle to shoot into the open goal.

In the second half, Argentina won the first penalty corner of the game and a powerful shot by Julia Gomes into the corner left McFerran with no chance.

Anna O’Flanagan showed her strength when charging into the circle to win her side’s first penalty corner in the 43rd minute. Roisin Upton was on hand to send one of her signature drag flicks past the diving Belen Succi to bring Ireland back into the tie.

However, the equalising goal eluded Ireland as Argentina closed out the win.

Ireland head coach Graham Shaw said: “We are obviously disappointed losing that game, but are very confident going into the 5th-8th play-offs and are looking forward to the challenge.”