The Republic of Ireland women's team suffered a 2-0 defeat against the USA in a friendly in Austin, Texas, on Saturday afternoon.
The USA took the lead through a long-range Emma Fox strike after 37 minutes and made sure of the victory when Lindsey Horan slotted a penalty with 11 minutes remaining.
Vera Pauw's Ireland put up a brave display against the number-one-ranked team in women's soccer, keeping their defensive shape well and posing early questions for the US defense, with Alex Morgan forced to clear a Louise Quinn header off the line in the 19th minute.
Ireland again came close to taking the lead soon after, with Katie McCabe, Denise O'Sullivan, and Kyra Carusa all seeing shots blocked down during a frantic goalmouth scramble.
However, the USA's quality began to tell and Vlatko Andonovski's side began to impose themselves on the game.
The reigning world champions took the lead with eight minutes remaining in the first half when Fox lashed a low strike into the bottom corner from 25 yards out to score her first international goal.
Ireland thought they had equalized on the stroke of halftime, but Carusa's glancing header was correctly ruled out for offside.
The USA began to dominate proceedings after the interval, while Ireland found it increasingly difficult to get out of their own half.
Courtney Brosnan kept Ireland in the game by tipping a Rose Lavelle effort onto the post, but the Irish resistance was broken with 11 minutes remaining when Diane Caldwell fouled Horan in the box.
Horan dusted herself down and converted the spot kick, although Brosnan guessed the right way and got a strong arm on the effort.
The USA pressed for a third goal, but Ireland proved resilient.
Ultimately, though, Ireland fell to their first defeat in ten games and will look for an improved performance when the sides meet again in Missouri on Tuesday night as both sides continue their preparations for the FIFA Women's World Cup in the summer.
Another step in the process of building toward the World Cup 🧱
⚽️ 37' - Fox— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) April 8, 2023
⚽️ 80' - Horan (PK) pic.twitter.com/67Ols1TxyI