Ireland's goalscoring hero Anna O'Flanagan showered praise on here team-mates and all the players' families after the Green Machine pulled off another incredible Women's Hockey World Cup victory to make the quarter-finals in London.

O'Flanagan turned home Shirley McCay's sweep in the 12th minute at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre to give her side a lead they defended heroically.

In 33-degree heat, Ireland repelled wave after wave of attack to hold on for another brilliant win - they stunned the USA 3-1 in their opener - and make the quarters with a game to spare.

They are the lowest ranked team in the pool, which also includes England, and are one of the few amateur outfits at the tournament. But Ireland have already proven they can live with the big guns, and O'Flanagan said their perilous road to London made the glory all the sweeter.

"It was a dream come true for a lot of us," she told RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland

"It wasn't that we didn't believe we could do it; it was just knowing we'd realised our potential, that we'd been banging on the door for so long and we'd actually got there. It was an incredible feeling with incredible emotion.

"The sacrifices we make as a team, I don't know if anyone could understand. Nearly 90% of the teams here are on full-time programmes, they're fully paid professional athletes.

"Every single one of us is an amateur athlete. We don't get paid for what we do. We work off a shoestring budget. Some of us have full-time jobs; some of us have had to give up our jobs because it was too demanding to combine both and we wanted to realise our dreams on the pitch.

"That makes it all the sweeter to be honest."

O'Flanagan paid a special tribute to those closest to the squad: their families.

There were ecstatic, emotional scenes at the full-time whistle but O'Flanagan admitted the players were too tired to really celebrate their achievement, as they instead recuperated for the upcoming clash with England.

"Our families are absolutely amazing," she said. "When we're all still living at home and asking for a digout every now and then they're more than willing to help us out. They're behind us all the way.

"They've been there through the lows. Yesterday for them was something special as well. They know exactly what we've put into this.

"We had a bit of time with our families at the ground after the game and then then we headed back to the hotel to start recovery for the game on Sunday. Everyone was wrecked and headed to bed!"