Hockey Women's World Cup: Ireland 1-0 India

2018 Hockey Women's World Cup
Venue: Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London Dates: 21 July-5 August
Coverage: Score updates and match report on BBC Sport website

Ireland secured their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a game to spare as they upset India 1-0 to ensure they will win Pool B.

Anna O'Flanagan's opening-quarter goal was enough to clinch a battling win.

The result means England, who face Ireland on Sunday, cannot qualify automatically for the quarter-finals.

If England beat Ireland, they will finish second in Pool B and play the third-placed team from Pool A in a play-off for a last-eight place.

Goalscorer Anna O'Flanagan in 'dream world' after Ireland book World Cup last-eight berth

If they finish third, they will play the second-placed team from Pool A in a play-off.

England have drawn both their matches so far, against India and USA, while Ireland previously beat USA 3-1.

Pool A is made up of Netherlands, Italy, China and South Korea.

Ireland goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran made a number of crucial saves against India as their disciplined defence held firm against the world number 10 side.

In sweltering conditions at Lee Valley, Ireland capped a patient start against the side ranked six places higher than them when they took the lead in the 12th minute.

Katy Mullan showed good strength in the circle to win her team's first penalty corner and Shirley McCay's initial shot was brilliantly deflected into the top corner by O'Flanagan.

As India pressed for an equaliser, McFerran was called upon to make a couple of vital second-quarter saves.

Ireland coach Graham Shaw says players have 'dedicated their lives to hockey'

The Ireland goalkeeper had to stretch to divert Vandana Katariya's reverse shot before getting a stick on a powerful effort by Lilima Minz while defender Hannah Matthews also had to clear of the line from a penalty corner.

McFerran made another diving save midway through the third quarter while O'Flanagan bravely blocked from another penalty corner as India began to turn up the pressure.

At the other end, O'Flanagan twice dribbled into the circle but could not find a team-mate in space while Nikki Evans was unable to react quickly enough with the goal at her mercy.

In the final quarter, the Irish defence began to tire in the energy-sapping heat and Shirley McCay almost passed the ball into her own goal before McFerran reacted brilliantly to get a foot to a shot from India captain Rani.

India introduced a kicking back for the final five minutes as they looked to make their possession count but Ireland expertly wound down the clock to secure their first World Cup quarter-final spot.

What they said

Ireland goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran, speaking to BT Sport: "For our first World Cup in 16 years and to make the quarter-finals with a game in hand is great. It's not every Ireland team that can say something like that."

Ireland head coach Graham Shaw, speaking to BT Sport: "We'll continue to enjoy ourselves but obviously the pressure is off a little now. A quarter-final with a game to spare, if you had given me that before the tournament I would have snapped your hand off."