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Ireland have no case for defence as they lose to USA

By John Flack

Ireland's defence is normally one of their biggest strengths but it proved to be their Achilles heel in a second successive 3-0 defeat against the United States in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Two of the three goals came from errors at the back, something national coach Darren Smith will be hoping to eradicate in tonight's third and final test as both teams continue their preparations for next month's World League 3 trip to Valencia.

Ireland - who play four matches in Canada next week - made a disastrous start after only 45 seconds, conceding a goal to Kate O'Donnell who beat Pegasus keeper Ayeisha McFerran after a defensive blunder.

USA - at fifth in the world, nine places higher than Ireland - made it 2-0 before the break when Ulster's Katie Mullan stopped the ball with her foot and Ali McAvoy scored the penalty stroke.

Another blunder saw Kelsey Kolojojechik add number three.

Tonight: USA v Ireland (11.30pm UK time)

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