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The Ireland Women’s hockey team shipped three goals in the final quarter of the game against the Netherlands in their second pool game at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, losing 4-0.
Kathryn Mullan made her two-hundredth appearance for Ireland but Sean Dancer’s side couldn’t get the win against their European rivals.
After winning their first-ever game at the Olympics against South Africa, the World Cup runners-up endured their first loss in their second-ever game after the Dutch pressure persevered in the fourth quarter.
The Netherlands midfield had a stranglehold on the Irish attack from minute one at Oi Stadium, snuffing out any potential counters and maintaining their dominance.
Felice Albers opened the scoring for the Dutch after a counter of their own exposed holes left in the Irish defence.
Hannah Matthews rushed up to end the counter early but her gamble did not pay off and Albers coolly slotted past goalkeeper Ayeisha McFarren.
The first Dutch goal was expected to open the floodgates but the heroics of McFarren and Elena Tice frustrated the World Champions.
Ireland were the better side at the beginning of the second quarter after Dutch midfielder Laurien Leurink was shown a green card for a foul on Shirley McKay.
Their woman advantage did not last long as Hannah Matthews received the same punishment after bringing an end to a Dutch counter illegally.
The Irish grew tired in the final quarter and the reigning world champions took advantage of this.
Malou Pheninckx pounced on a fortunate ricochet from a penalty to slot a second and kill the tie.
Leurink made amends for her earlier discrepancy when she added the Netherlands’ third of the game before Frederique Matla got the goal she had deserved all game to put some gloss on the scoreline.
Ireland will face Germany in their next game in Pool A of the tournament at 4:15 am on Wednesday, July 28th.