Ireland hold Japan in World League semi-finals opener

Cork Harlequins player Roisin Upton
Cork Harlequins player Roisin Upton scored Ireland's goal against Japan

Ireland's women drew 1-1 with Japan in their opening match of the World League semi-finals in Johannesburg.

The Irish took the lead early in the second half, Roisin Upton firing one of her signature drag flicks past the keeper after a penalty corner.

Japan levelled from their first penalty corner in the 50th minute, Shihori Oikawa sending the ball low past the diving Ayeisha McFerran.

Ireland's next game is against Olympic bronze medallists Germany on Monday.

Their other Pool A opponents are Poland and England.

"It was the first game of the tournament so we were happy to get points on the board," head coach Graham Shaw said after Saturday's opener.

"It got a little frantic at times. We need to show a bit more composure and will work on that throughout the rest of the tournament."

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