India 0-1 Ireland
Ireland marched into the Women’s Hockey World Cup quarter-finals after another superb win in London, as Anna O'Flanagan's first-quarter goal proved enough to sink India and earn progression with a pool game to spare.
After stunning the USA - ranked seventh in the world - in their opening match, Graham Shaw's team dug deep to beat India and guarantee a spot in the knockout stages.
O'Flanagan turned home Shirley McCay's sweep off a penalty corner 12 minutes in and, after some heroic defending, that goal ended up being the difference.
Pool B's lowest-ranked side are now through to the last eight.
"What a group of players," head coach Shaw said afterwards.
"I thought they were absolutely fantastic from start to finish. It was a difficult game, the conditions were very tough and India played very well, and made it difficult for us.
"Credit to the players and the work they put it, they’re a special group and they deserve this . It’s my privilege and honour to be part of this group."
India got off to the more lively start with a penalty corner in the fourth minute but superb running and a clearance by Hannah Matthews kept them scoreless.
The Green Army settled and were content to pass around the back and wait for the space to open up. That space did eventually open and Katie Mullan and O’Flanagan linked up in the circle to win a penalty corner of their own.
McCay stepped up for one of her powerful sweeps from the top of the circle and O’Flanagan deflected it into the net for the lead.
Ayeisha McFerran was in fine form once again today as she made a superb high stick save to send Vandana Katariya’s shot over the crossbar. India amassed three penalty corners before the half was out but a super clearance off the line by Matthews prevented an equaliser.
O’Flanagan looked like she might double her tally early in the second half as she drove down the wing and along the baseline but Savita was out quick to make a strong low save.
India continued to rack up the penalty corners, finishing the day with seven in total, but McFerran couldn’t be beaten and the Green Army defensive unit showed real resilience.
The experience of Nicci Daly came to the fore along with the unstoppable McCay as Ireland wound the clock down and recorded a famous victory
"What a group of players, I thought they were absolutely fantastic from start to finish," said head coach Graham Shaw. "It was a difficult game, the conditions were very tough and India played very well, and made it difficult for us.
"Credit to the players and the work they put it, they’re a special group and they deserve this . It’s my privilege and honour to be part of this group".
Ireland: N Evans, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, G Pinder, R Upton, A McFerran, C Watkins, L Colvin, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson
Subs: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, M Frazer, E Tice, N Daly, D Duke, A Meeke
Ireland’s Pool B Hockey World Cup Results/Fixtures:
Ireland 3-1 USA
Ireland 1-0 India
Ireland v England, Sunday, 7pm