Ireland coach Gene Muller has admitted Belgium were the better team after his side’s 4-1 defeat in the London 2012 play-off clash.

Ireland were quickly under pressure in the match after a Sophie Gierts first-half hat-trick, and their hopes of a comeback after a second half Audrey O’Flynn drag-flick goal were quickly extinguished by a fourth Belgian goal by Erica Coppey.

Ireland struggled to control possession and their attacks down the wings were only sporadically successful.

Muller said: “Belgium were the better team on the day, we couldn't get a foothold on the game. They scored three goals in quick succession and we couldn't sink our nails into the match.

“I think we played with a level of consistency throughout the week and that got us into the final but Belgium were better over the course of the week. I am disappointed in the result but it was a fair result."

Irish captain Alex Speers was similarly downbeat after the defeat: "We're obviously very disappointed. I suppose there were decision where they got the rub of the green slightly but they were the better team on the day and we have to accept they were the better team and they go on to London.

"We played different tactics on Friday (when drawing with Belgium). We came out and we pressed them today. We got a bit more joy but I think in crucial areas they made the right decisions and we didn't and, at the end of the day, the better team won.

"We gave ourselves the best opportunity, we put ourselves in the right place, where we wanted to be - in the final - and that's the disappointing thing: we just didn't produce it on the day and they did."