Three first-half goals from the USA proved too much for Ireland as they fell to a 3-0 defeat in their final pool match of the "Champions Challenge I" tournament in Glasgow.

Caroline Nichols opened the scoring for the USA in the sixth minute, converting a low shot past Emma Gray.

Catherine Sharkey added a second 11 minutes later, weaving into the Irish circle to slip the ball home at close range, before Katie O’Donnell rounded off the scoring with a deflection off a penalty corner before the break.

Ireland regrouped in the second half, coming out with more attacking intent, but despite securing their first penalty corner, thanks to the combination of attackers Anna O’Flanagan and Nikki Evans, it yielded no real shot.

The USA grew in confidence throughout the match, setting up waves of attacks and shots, and might have gone further ahead but for a fine performance from Gray.

Ireland coach Darren Smith said the USA deserved their lead, and that although Ireland “had a better second half [...] at that stage the game was already dead”.

Ireland will play in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Pool A final standings: 1 USA 6pts; 2 South Africa 5pts; 3 Spain 2 pts (-2GD); 4 Ireland 2pts (-3GD)

Ireland Starting XI: Emma Gray (GK), Cliodhna Sargent, Emma Smyth, Nikki Evans, Shirley McCay, Megan Frazer, Audrey O’Flynn, Chloe Watkins, Nicci Daly, Katie Mullan, Anna O’Flanagan.

Reserves: Michelle Harvey, Naomi Carroll, Ayeisha McFerran, Gillian Pinder, Kate Dillon, Alison Meeke, Emily Beatty.