Women's Olympic hockey qualifier: Ireland draw 0-0 with Canada in first leg in Dublin

Ireland in stalemate with Canada
Women's Olympic hockey qualifier: Ireland v Canada
Date: Sunday 3 November Time: 19:10 GMT Venue: Donnybrook, Dublin
Coverage: Live video stream on the BBC Sport website from 19:00 GMT on Sunday

Ireland's women drew 0-0 with Canada in the first leg of their Olympic qualifier at a rain-lashed Donnybrook Stadium in Dublin on Saturday evening.

The difficult wet conditions made any quality play difficult and the tie will now be decided in Sunday's second leg at the same venue at 19:10 GMT.

Nicci Daly and Zoe Wilson went closest for Ireland, while Sara McManus had New Zealand's best scoring opportunity.

Ireland are aiming to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time.

A record crowd of just over 6,000 people were in attendance to watch last year's world finalists Ireland take on the Canadians.

Ireland, ranked eighth in the world to their opponents' 15th, went into the matches as favourites but neither side managed to create any clear-cut chances in an evenly contested first period.

Ireland dominate second period

As the torrential rain continued to pour down, Ireland had the better of the second period, their superiority reflected in the awarding of five penalty corners in their favour.

Daly saw her first-time volley well saved by Canada goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams, who also denied Wilson's effort. Wilson was inches wide with another attempt on goal.

Canada were marginally the better team in the third period but it was in the fourth period of the match that the away team created their best chance - McManus getting on the end of a penalty corner and forcing Ayeisha McFerran into a fine save.

Shirley McCay won her 300th cap for Ireland, who narrowly failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio but aim to make amends by competing in Tokyo next year.

The team are aiming to become the first female Irish sporting team to qualify for an Olympics in any sport.

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