Ireland miss out on Nations League final after penalty shoot-out drama in Valencia

Ireland took the lead against India in normal time but could only convert one penalty

Ireland 1 India 1 (India win 2-1 in shoot-out)

The route that carried the Irish women’s hockey team to a World Cup final in London 2018 denied them a place in the Nations Cup final in Valencia on Friday.

Facing India in the semi-final, the match ended 1-1 and went to a shoot-out, with India scoring from two of their five efforts and Ireland just one, allowing India to advance to the final.

A place in the hockey Professional League is the prize for the winning team.


Ireland took the lead in normal time play when Naomi Carroll scored from play just before the end of the first quarter and held that lead against the hard-running Indians until half-time.

India then drew level in the third quarter from a penalty corner with Udita Duhan converting on 44 minutes. The score remained that way to the end, ushering in a tense shoot-out.

In the end India just nudged Ireland out with two of their players, Sonika Tandi and Lalremsiami Hmarzote, beating Irish goalkeeper Lizzy Murphy. Just Hannah McLoughlin scored from Ireland’s five shoot-out chances, to give India a narrow 2-1 win.

Head coach Sean Dancer said his team executed their plans: “India are a very attacking team, so we wanted to control the way that they attacked and we did that really well. We probably gave away too many penalty corners,” he said.

“But we did well for most of it. And then we wanted to bring out our speed and skill which you saw with the goal that we scored and the goal we had disallowed,” he added.

“Standout performance for us today was Lizzy Murphy in goal,” said Dancer. “Even though we conceded a lot of penalty corners, she saved almost all of them.”

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times