Hockey Women's World Cup: Ireland stun USA in London opener

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Highlights: Ireland beat USA in World Cup opener
2018 Hockey Women's World Cup
Venue: Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London Dates: 21 July-5 August
Coverage: Live commentary of every England game online and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, reports on England and Ireland matches on the BBC Sport website

Two first-quarter goals helped Ireland to upset the United States in their opening World Cup match in London.

Deirdre Duke and Shirley McCay scored inside the opening 11 minutes to give Ireland an early lead before Margaux Paolino pulled a goal back for the US.

Duke fired home a controversial third goal for the Irish on the counter-attack with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Ireland top Pool B after England and India drew their opening game.

Ireland, who are ranked 16th in the world, made the perfect start against the seventh-ranked US when they scored after just four minutes.

A clever pass by Roisin Upton found Duke in space at the edge of the circle and she cleverly took the ball wide of goalkeeper Jackie Briggs before scoring from a narrow angle.

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No fear, no pressure - How Ireland stunned the USA

Sliding stop

Ireland keeper Ayeisha McFerran was called on to make an early sliding save from Lauren Moyer before Ireland went back on the attack and forced the first penalty corner of the game through Gillian Pinder.

From that penalty corner, McCay swept a low shot into the bottom corner to double Ireland's advantage.

The American response was almost instant as McFerran had to make another save before a well-worked penalty corner routine found Paolino unmarked at the post and the forward was able to deflect the ball into an unguarded net.

Katie Mullan missed a glorious chance to restore Ireland's two-goal advantage five minutes into the second quarter but she could not control Duke's pass and the US defence was able to clear the danger.

Delight for Ireland after Shirley McCay finds the net against the USA in the World Cup opener
Delight for Ireland after Shirley McCay finds the net against the USA in the World Cup opener

Ashley Hoffman's drag shot was deflected by McFerran onto the Irish crossbar and she then had to save a follow-up by Melissa Gonzalez.

Mullan went close 30 seconds into the third quarter before Duke's controversial second goal as the Irish launched an attack from an American short corner.

The American's strike appeared to have deflected off Mullan's stick but officials ruled the shot as a wide.

With the US committed in Ireland's half, expecting a short corner, Nikki Evans found an unmarked Duke, who fired past Briggs.

The Americans piled on the pressure in the final quarter, with Player of the Match McFerran pulling off another great save from Caitlin van Sickle as Ireland held on for a famous win in what was their first World Cup match in 16 years.

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