Sunday 9 December 2018

Heartbreak as USA end Ireland's hopes of Rio qualification

Ireland players dejected after the penalty shootout defeat to China in midweek
Ireland players dejected after the penalty shootout defeat to China in midweek
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's brave bid to make the Rio Olympics next summer has fallen agonisingly short as they were beaten 6-1 by the USA in Valencia today.

The Irish ladies seemed emotionally drained from their shoot-out defeat to China Women's Hockey World League quarter-final and were unable to recapture their best form from earlier in the tournament.

Having come within the width of the post of beating the Chinese and progressing to Rio, Darren Smith's side seemed jaded in today's encounter.

Ireland claimed a famous 2-0 victory over the Americans in the Pool Stages but were unable to repeat the feat today.

Two first quarter goals from Lauren Crandall gave Ireland a mountain to climb and although they pressed in the second, they couldn't find the net.

A third quarter brace from Katie O'Donnell put the game well beyond Ireland.

The Irish pulled a goal back late in the quarter but it was too little too late and Paige Selenski's backhanded shot from a tight angle ended the contest.

As Ireland pushed for goals, Jill Witmer was able to add a sixth for the victors for a comprehensive victory.

Ireland needed to advance to the 5th-6th playoff to have any chance of Olympic qualification.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport