Sunday 4 December 2016

'A result to be cherished' - Irish women's hockey team claim historic victory over USA to keep Olympic dream alive

Published 16/06/2015 | 16:55

The victorious Ireland women's hockey team. Picture Credit: Facebook/FIHockey
The victorious Ireland women's hockey team. Picture Credit: Facebook/FIHockey

The Ireland women's hockey team have claimed one of the most significant wins in their history after beating the USA 2-0 in Pool B of the World Hockey League in Valencia.

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The win puts the Irish side top of Pool B with the result of the final game between Germany and South Africa to determine their final pool placing.

The win is a major scalp with the Americans ranked fifth in the world and it was a defensive masterclass from the victors who soaked up the pressure from the favourites, with Megan Frazer and Anna O'Flanagan did the damage in offence for Ireland.

Ireland now advance to the quarter-finals of the competition knowing that a semi-final spot, or a win in the 5th-8th-place play-offs will qualify them for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Ireland's Nicola Evans and Megan Frazer. The 2-0 over the USA sees Ireland top Pool B and qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League with one game remaining.
Ireland's Nicola Evans and Megan Frazer. The 2-0 over the USA sees Ireland top Pool B and qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League with one game remaining.

“It is a result to be cherished,” coach Darren Smith said afterwards.

“It was a really important win. First and foremost, we wanted to finish as high up in the group as possible and to beat the world number five side, World Cup semi-finalists, is something to be cherished.

“The higher up the pool you finish give you momentum for the semi-finals.”

Should they qualify they would become the first Irish team to qualify for the Games since the men's soccer team of London 1948.

Kerry football star Kieran Donaghy and Head of RTE Sport Ryle Nugent were among those to pay tribute to the victorious women.

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