A win over Great Britain will bring Olympic quarter-final berth

** Ireland v Great Britain  will be broadcast as part of RTE2’s live Olympic coverage from 12.45pm on Saturday, July 31 – note this will be geo-blocked in Northern Ireland; if other sports are showing, coverage continues on the RTE Player

** For viewers in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, Discovery+ will broadcast every game from the Olympics live here: https://www.discoveryplus.co.uk/olympics/sport/field-hockey

** BBC1’s Red Button could potentially carry coverage of the tie, too.

The equation is clear; a win over Great Britain and Ireland can look forward to a first ever Olympic quarter-final in their maiden women’s competition.

That is the challenge following India’s dramatic 4-3 win over South Africa this morning, lifting them to six points with Ireland currently on three points with one game remaining of Pool A.

It marks another big test for Sean Dancer’s side after another rollercoaster week of tournament hockey, the highs of the opening day win over South Africa to the rough finish to Friday’s contest against India.

With a place in the last eight very much a possibility, Deirdre Duke says there is a simple motivation to turn things around quickly.

“That quarter final spot is still up for grabs, so we’re going to have to park [the India game] pretty quick and get ourselves up for a big one,” she said. “It is always a collective effort and we always rally together and we rally around each other. We go again.”

To achieve this latest goal would require another piece of history. Ireland have yet to beat GB in a capped international match although that stat is slightly skewed by the rare nature of fixtures between the sides.

The last meeting came in June 2012 as GB only exists as an international entity in Olympic cycles, reverting to England, Scotland and Wales for the likes of the European Championships and the World Cup.

As such, there are 14 of the English side Ireland faced at the Euros along with Welsh pair Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson and Scottish duo Sarah Robertson and Amy Costello.

Ireland did beat GB for the first time in March 2-1 but it was in an uncapped fixture with Roisin Upton scoring the winning goal, ultimately sharing the series with a win, draw and a loss each.

And they will hope to summon that spirit in this vital tie to extend their stay in Tokyo. For GB, barring a five-goal defeat in this tie, they will finish in third place in Pool A and a quarter-final date against Spain.

Ireland v Great Britain – head to head
Overall: 15 meetings
Ireland: 0 wins, 0 draws, 15 losses, goals scored 1, goals against 38
Last meeting: June 2012, Ireland 0 Great Britain 3; Ireland’s only goal came in the 2004 meeting between the sides in Auckland
GB Olympic record: 8th Olympic appearance; reigning champions from 2016; bronze in 2012 and 1992.
Current world ranking (as England): 5th