Ireland weathered some hot and humid conditions in Antwerp to edge their way to a 2-1 victory over tournament hosts Belgium in the Belfius EuroHockey Championships.

The result means that only a heavy defeat for Ireland in their next game with Russia, coupled with a big win for Belgium over Belarus will see Ireland relegated.

Belgium started strongly, getting the first chance of the game from Jill Boon. Ayisha McFerran saved well, but Belgium secured a penalty corner shortly after this to keep the pressure on.

The opening goal came in 11 minutes in from a penalty corner to Ireland. Shirley McCay took it and Roisin Upton deflected back to her.

While McCay shot was off target it gave Bethany Barr the opportunity to knock it in nicely behind Aisling D'Hooge to give Ireland the lead.

Ireland's lead lasted until the third-quarter when Belgium secured an equaliser, Gerniers crossing to Ballenghein, who slipped it in behind McFerran.

Both sides pushed hard to find a winning goal in the final quarter. 

With 90 seconds left on the clock, McCay shot into the circle and found Nicci Daly who deflected to Anna O’Flanagan to finish. The video umpire was called upon to confirm there was no back stick involved and the goal was granted.

Speaking after the match, head coach Sean Dancer said: "It was a game we played quite well in. We probably deserved to be another goal up at half-time.

"Belgium played really well in the second half; we probably went to sleep in a few areas, so they certainly got back into the game.

"It was really cut-throat to the end, and I suppose for me what was pleasing is that the girls kept fighting and we were good enough to score a goal in the last minute."

Ireland: A McFerran, N Evans, K Mullan, S McCay, E Tice, B Barr, C Watkins, L Colvin, A O'Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke

Subs: R Upton, G Pinder, N Daly, H Matthews, E Murphy, S Hawkshaw, A Meeke

Belgium: S Limauge, J Vandermeiren, E Puvrez, L Versavel, B Nelen, A D’Hooge, S Vanden Borre, P Leclef, L Hillewaart J Boon, A Ballenghien,

Subs: A Raye, A Fobe, A Gerniers, E Sinia, AS Weyns, M Struijk, E Picard