Ireland women lose final Valencia game against South Africa

Megan Frazer pays tribute to departing Ireland coach Darren Smith as Olympic hopes end

Ireland women were unable to shake off the disappointment of missing out on an Olympic spot as they were beaten 4-0 by South Africa in their final World League 3 game in Valencia.

The result meant Ireland finished eighth overall in the tournament.

Saturday's 6-1 defeat by the USA had ended any lingering hopes of qualification for Rio 2016.

Ireland lost their big chance in agonising fashion on Thursday when they lost 4-3 to China in a shootout.

Victory in the tournament's quarter-final would almost certainly have earned Ireland, ranked 14th in the world, a place at the Games in Brazil next year.

The top three teams in Valencia secure Olympic qualification, with the countries finishing fourth and fifth also highly likely to earn to Rio qualify for the Olympics place with the fourth placers and probably fifth side also securing Rio berths.

But despite dominating Thursday's match, Ireland were denied as they suffered a 4-3 shootout defeat after the game ended 1-1.

During the shootout, Nikki Evans had an opportunity to win it and captain Megan Frazer and O'Flanagan also missed before China prevailed.

Ireland started their World League campaign on 10 June with a 4-1 win over South Africa but it was a different story for the deflated side on Sunday.

Candace Manuel's first-half deflection from a corner gave the South Africans an early advantage.

Lisa-Marie Deetlefs slapped home a second after the big break before goals from Lilian du Plessis and Kelly Madsen.