World Cup hopes unclear as Ireland suffer 3-0 defeat to South Afc

Irish Ladies Hockey team hopes of World Cup qualification dashed.

Ireland suffered a 3-0 loss to South Africa at the World League World Cup to severely dent their chances at reaching the 2018 World Cup in London.

The defeat means that Ireland need to win their final game of the tournament against India, tomorrow at 1.30pm to secure 8th place. Finishing 8th could be enough for World Cup berth but that is dependent on the Continental Championships in October of this year ultimately taking qualification out of their own hands.

Both teams were tentitve from the off especially considering the prize on offer. The result was a goalless opening period as both sides tried to get into their strides. South Africa took the lead in the 23rd minute following a series of penalty corners. At the 3rd time of asking Lisa-Marie Deetlefs fired home to give the host nation a 1-0 lead.

Ireland’s first penalty corner of the match came in the last play of the half with the woodwork preventing Limerick’s Roisin Upton’s from finding the back of the net.

Try as they might, Ireland just couldn’t force a goal while on the other hand South Africa delivered a sucker punch through Bernadette Coston to make it 2-0. Ireland had to throw everyone forward as they had to chase the game. The result was a Lilian du Plessis goal to put the tie beyond doubt.

Simply put, while Ireland dominated possession, South Africa made them pay for their inability to convert their chances and condemned Ireland to the 7th/8th playoff.

While Ireland’s chances at qualification to next year’s World Cup are not finished yet. They will have to wait until October to find out their fate.

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Jack Neville