Women's World League: Ireland edge India to boost World Cup hopes

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Ireland beat India 2-1

Ireland moved closer to a World Cup finals spot after fighting back to beat India 2-1 in the World League 7th-8th place play-off in Johannesburg.

Gurjit Kaur drilled in the opener for India before Grace O'Flanagan saved a penalty stroke from Rani.

Ireland hit back with Katie Mullan's defected finish and Lizzie Colvin fired home the winner.

Seventh place could be enough to earn Ireland a place in next year's World Cup finals in London.

Ireland become the third reserve for a place in the tournament behind Italy and Spain so need three of the 10 countries already qualified to also win their continental championships to gain a place.

The earliest this could happen would be after the Oceania Cup final in October.

Kaur netted from a penalty corner on 15 minutes and the penalty stroke was awarded when goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran received a 10-minute yellow card for charging out of her goal and obstructing the striker.

O'Flanagan stepped onto the field and with her first piece of the action saved Rani's penalty stroke with a superb dive to her right.

India had a goal disallowed for a back stick and Ireland went into the half-time break one down.

Ireland fight back

From a penalty corner Elena Tice swept the ball to the waiting Mullan, who deflected in the equaliser in the 47th minute.

Mullan won her side another penalty corner and Colvin scored Ireland's second goal in two minutes.

"I thought the performance was superb. We just didn't get results out of the dominance we had in the first half," said Ireland head coach Graham Shaw.

"But this team has shown incredible character to go down to 10 players and have that resilience.

"We're over the moon to score two great goals. This team deserve it, they work incredibly hard and deserve everything they get."

Ireland: K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, E Tice, G Pinder, R Upton, A McFerran, C Watkins, N Daly, A O'Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke.

Subs: G O'Flanagan, Y O'Byrne, N Evans, E Beatty, S Loughran, L Colvin, H Matthews.

India: D Ekka, Monkia, N Pradhan, Savita, V Katariya, N Toppo, A Barla, S Lakra, S Pukhrambam, Rani (Captain), L Minz

Subs: N Kaur, G Kaur, R Khokhar, R Etimarpu, R Rani, R Yadav, P Dubey

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