The Irish Hockey look to have set up a winner takes all match against Malaysia at 3pm on Saturday after drawing 1-1 with Korea.
Ireland 1 (1) David Ames (28th minute PC)
Korea 1 (0) Woo Hyun Nam (41 minute PC)
Ireland took on the world number 6′s and highest ranked team in this Electric Ireland FIH Road to London this evening in front of a packed stadium in UCD.
This was the first real test for Ireland after securing two good wins over the weekend (6-1 against Russia; 12-0 against Ukraine). The game opened up with some nervy moments from both defences but as they settled the match was played at a ferocious pace with end to end activity. Ireland secured the first penalty corner the intial drag was saved by Lee in goals but the rebound was put wide by Ireland. Minutes later Michael Watt laid up a great ball for Eugene Magee but Lee was on form and out of his goals to close down the pacy Magee.
Korea got their first real chance in the 19th securing a penalty corner but their efforts were flung wide. Keeper and man of the match David Harte was put to the test in the 29th minute when all 6ft 5″ of him was called into action to get a toe to push wide the Korean shot.
Ireland finally broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Timmy Cockram switched the set piece picking up David Ames to deflect in at the post to go 1-0 before half time.
Korea came out all gun’s blazing in the second half and secured three consecutive penalty corners in the first 6 minutes, the third of which was lucky for them and Woo Hyun Shin who dragged home the equaliser.
Korea looked sure to take the lead bar for exellent keeping once again by Harte in goals which lead to an immediate counter attack by Ireland but despite great pace by Timmy Cockram he couldn’t get the shot away.
Ireland had moments of pressure to soak up with a number of cards but they despite being at ten men on occassions they kept pace well.
Ireland will now face Chile on Thursday at 6pm when the action resumes (hockey.ie for more)
Starting XI: David Harte (GK); John Jackson; Ronan Gormley; Michael Watt; Eugene Magee (Capt); Andy McConnell; Ian Sloan; Mitch Darling; David Ames; Paul Gleghorne; Conor Harte
Reserves (all used): Geoff McCabe; John Jermyn; Peter Caruth; Timmy Cockram; Stuart Loughrey.
For full tables and all details please refer to the official tournament site www.fih.ch
Russia 4, Chile 3 (Match report by FIH)
Russia netted its first win at this road to London tournament with a 4-3 victory over Chile. The win still leaves the coveted spot to London out of reach, but nevertheless, it was a moral victory for the 20th ranked Russians in the FIH World Ranking.
The game was up for grabs until Russia struck with two quick goals midway through the second half to bounce back for a 4-3 lead. Pavel Golubev and Alexander Zhirkov scored the critical answers to Chile’s second half surge and killed the momentum that Chile was building. The lead stood through a tense final minutes as Russia took its first points of the event.
Chile went on the board first after Ignacio Gajardo was in perfect position to tap in the ball after it bounced off the post. Three minutes later, Russia’s Aleksandr Platonov returned the favor after finding himself in perfect position to put in a rebound for the 1-1 goal. Platonov gave his team its first lead of the game two minutes later to send the teams into the warmth of the locker room at the break with Russia holding the one-goal lead.
Jan Richter and Alexis Berczely each scored two minutes apart to restore Chile’s lead making it a 3-2 affair, giving Chile the momentum, but Russia stayed composed setting up the go-ahead heroics and hanging on for the win.
Malaysia 5, Ukraine 1 (Match report by FIH)
Malaysia did its part to stay atop of the standings at the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London tournament making easy work of Ukraine in a 5-1 victory. The win gives Malaysia three wins in three games and leaves the Ukraine looking for its first points at the event.
Perhaps it was the chilly weather in Dublin, but it took Malaysia awhile to warm up its offense, taking more than 25 minutes to score its first goal when Faizal Saari set up Tengku for the roof shot. The 2-0 goal came eight minutes later and was threaded between the legs of Ukrainian goaltender Vovodymr Kurbatov giving Malaysia the slim two-goal lead at the break.
Malaysia opened the second half scoring with its first penalty corner of the game 18 minutes into the half, but Ukraine bounced back with the surprising counter and put in its lone goal of the game to keep the Malaysians on their toes with a 3-1 game.
With seven minutes left in the game, Malaysia all but sealed the win with the 4-1 goal when Faizal put in the insurance marker. A penalty stroke goal in the last minute of action brought the final to 5-1.
Tomorrow all teams are off, and then on Thursday Malaysia has its first real test of the tournament against top-ranked Korea. Ukraine will look for its first win against Russia.
Want to follow the action from Dublin live?
Or subscribe to the Live Streaming offered by Irish Hockey at http://www.hockey.ie/olympic_livestream.cfm