|March 17th, 2012|
|15||Pool A||3:00pm||IRL - MAS||1 - 1 (0 - 0)||Final|
Ireland 1, Malaysia 1
It was the game everyone was anticipating all week and it didn’t disappoint. Malaysia and Ireland battled it out in front of a sell-out crowd for a spot in the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London final and left nothing on the field as the 1-1 draw was enough to give Ireland a spot in the final against Korea.
It took 60 minutes for Ireland to score, but it was certainly the team’s most important goal of the tournament and perhaps the entire season when John Jermyn put in the 1-1 goal on a penalty corner flick. The marker ended nearly an entire game of frustration that saw the Malaysians thwart nearly double-digit penalty corner chances for the Irish.
It was an electric atmosphere in Dublin with a sell-out crowd on St. Patrick’s day and the two teams fed off the energy in the closely contested game. Ireland was clearly the better team in the first half, but the spectacular goaltending form Malaysia’s Kumar Subramaniam kept Malaysia in the game. Despite spending much of the half pressuring the Malaysian net, Ireland had to settle for a 0-0 draw at the break.
Malaysia came out stronger in the second half and was rewarded when Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor deflected a shot into the net for the 1-0 lead for Malaysia. The lead stood for much of the half as the tension in the stands and on the field mounted. It wasn’t until Jermyn finally converted one of Ireland’s multiple penalty corners that the home fans allowed themselves to hope for a place in the final.
Ireland and Korea will play tomorrow in the final game of the tournament to determine which team will earn the berth to the London Olympic Games in a winner-takes-all meeting. Malaysia will play for third place against Russia tomorrow.