Ireland are on the brink of elimination from the T20 World Cup following a shock 12-run defeat against Canada in New York on Friday. 

Having lost their World Cup opener against India on Wednesday, Ireland came into Friday's clash with Canada in search of their opening win of the tournament. 

Canada, an associate nation who had never won a T20 World Cup match before, were well worth their 12-run victory, with Nicholas Kirton's 49 runs off 35 balls helping them post a respectable 137-7 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium. 

Requiring 138 to win, Ireland's chase began far too slowly, with the Irish batsmen failing to hit a single boundary between the sixth and 15th overs.

After 13 overs, the Irish had registered just 59 runs for the loss of six wickets, requiring a massive 79 runs from just 42 balls to win. 

A fightback seemed unlikely at this point, but an impressive sixth-wicket stand from George Dockrell and Mark Adair returned 62 runs, keeping Ireland's slim hopes of victory alive. 

Dockrell and Adair's impressive showing left Ireland requiring 17 runs from the final over to snatch an unlikely and scarcely-deserved victory, but they could not make any inroads against the bowling of Jeremy Gordon. 

Forced to go for boundaries, Adair skied a drive that was easily caught by Gordon, who finished with an impressive return of two wickets for the loss of just 16 runs. 

Dockrell, who finished 30 not out, and new man Barry McCarthy could only muster four runs off the final over as Gordon - and Canada - closed out a deserved victory. 

Ireland must beat Pakistan and co-hosts USA in their final two group games if they are to have any hope of reaching the Super 8s, while they will also require favors from other fixtures. 

Ireland next face the USA in Florida on June 14. The US have won both of their group matches at the World Cup, famously beating Pakistan in a Super Over on Thursday.