World League 2: Ireland 7-0 Belarus

Anna O'Flanagan celebrates after scoring Ireland's second goal
Anna O'Flanagan celebrates after scoring Ireland's second goal

Ireland's women hammered Belarus 7-0 to secure progression to the final phase of the Olympic qualifying process.

The Belfield win ensures a place in the World League 2 final, which earns them a ticket to World League 3, where Olympic places are decided.

Nikki Evans scored twice while Anna O'Flanagan, Megan Frazer, Naomi Carroll, Emma Smyth and Katie Mullan also on target.

Ireland will play Canada or Chile in Sunday's decider.

The hosts put in a breathtaking first-half performance and it took just 77 seconds to break the deadlock as O'Flanagan forged a route down the left wing, unlocking the door for Mullan to square for Evans to tip in.

O'Flanagan extended the lead in the sixth minute, dancing in and out of a series of tackles before slipping home past Maryna Navitskaya.

Carroll's shot was blocked on the line by a body, allowing Frazer to convert her third penalty stroke of the tie for 3-0 after 13 minutes.

Shirley McCay then created goals four and five with two delicious crosses.

The first was turned in by Carroll for her fifth goal of the tournament while Smyth slapped in first-time after a good left-wing attack.

The second half followed the same pattern with Ireland dominating the play with some sweet interchanges.

Mullan smashed home a rebound for the sixth before Evans completed the rout in the 48th minute with the pick of the bunch, a rocket off her backhand to the roof of the net.

Ireland: E Gray, C Sargent, E Smyth, N Evans, S McCay, M Frazer, N Daly, H Matthews, K Mullan, A O'Flanagan, G Pinder

Subs: N Carroll, A Connery, C Watkins, L Colvin, K Dillon, A Meeke, A McFerran

Belarus: M Navitskaya, H Zabrotskaya, U Kasabutskaya, M Halinouskaya, M Pakhanava, H Lupach, S Bahushevich, N Silitskaya, N Syrayezhka, K Papkova, R Batura

Subs: L Nestsiarovich, K Syddykaya, N Shitsin, P Papelskaya, H Tsabrova, D Belavusava, V Mikanovich

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