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Argentina Hockey Champions Challenge 1

Quilmes, Argentina - November 24 - December 2, 2012
Local time is 2:39am

Poland v Ireland

Quarterfinal

# Info Date Teams Score Status Match Sheet
November 29th, 2012
15 Quarterfinal 2:30pm Poland POL - IRL Ireland 0 - 4 (0 - 0) Final    

Match Review

Inspired Ireland crush Poland to reach Semi Finals

A brace of penalty corners from Conor Harte helped Ireland powered into the tournament Semi Finals with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Poland. All four goals came in the second half, with Michael Watt and Shane O’Donoghue also registering to give the Irish a victory that they fully deserved. It was a good day for both of the Harte brothers, with goalkeeper David keeping a clean-sheet in his 100th senior international match.  Ireland’s Semi Final opponents will be either Argentina or Canada, who meet in the final match of the day here in Quilmes.

Ireland played unquestionably their best hockey of the tournament in this contest, and could count themselves unlucky not to go into half time with a comfortable lead after dominating their European rivals.  The Irish controlled the opening stages but it was Poland who were first to test the keeper when team captain Dariusz Rachwalski crashed a reverse stick shot into the pads of David Harte, who was playing in his 100th match for his country. As the half progressed the Irish pressure gradually increased before the Polish defence started to showed signs of cracking. Outstanding goalkeeper Arkadiusz Matuszak came to Poland’s rescue twice in quick succession, denying efforts from Peter Caruth and Michael Watt with superb saves.  

The Irish won their first penalty corner seven minutes from the end of the half, but Matuszak again proved to be Poland’s hero with a brilliant save from the flick of Shane O’Donoghue. Poland began to find some rhythm towards the end of the half and eventually won a penalty corner of their own, but the Krystian Makowski fired his follow-up attempt high and wide to complete a scoreless but entertaining first 35 minutes.    

Poland gave Ireland a scare at the start of the 2nd half when a driving run from the talismanic Rachwalski caused chaos in the Irish circle before Ireland’s O’Donoghue fired a reverse stick shot over the cross-bar.

The deadlock was finally broken ten minutes into the second half when Michael Watt produced a blistering shot in a crowded circle to give Ireland a deserved lead. The goal was followed up by two virtually identical penalty corner flicks from Conor Harte either side of a Yellow Card for Poland’s Szymon Oszyjczyk for an off the ball incident. Shane O’Donoghue scored Ireland’s fourth goal seven minutes from the end of the match, beating his man on the left before finding the bottom right corner with an accurate strike to wrap up the scoring and confirm Ireland’s place in the Semi Finals. 

Quotes:

Karol Sniekek (POL Coach)
“We had a hard task in the first half and we managed to hold Irish pressure. But it was not the same in the second half, although we had our chances. There are many young players in the team with not enough experience to handle an unfavourable score. Anyway I’m glad that those players are here, because these kind of tournaments are difficult and they are experiencing it.”

 Dariusz Rachwalski (POL Captain)
“We are very disappointed with this match, as we lost the possibility to be in the Quarter Finals. In the first half we were organized in defence, but after the second goal in the second half we had to move forward. We we had nothing to lose, but they took advantage with counter attacks. They attacked and found us disorganized.” 

On who they would like to face in the Classification Match
“Argentina and Canada are both tough rivals, and we respect them both.”

Andrew Meredith (IRL Coach)
“I’m really pleased with this result and the performance of the team today. We played a good first half, we had 18 penetrations in the area, but despite the domination the team couldn’t score. In the second half the team was effective and our attacks had a good ending.”

On who they would like to face in the Classification Match
“It doesn’t matter if the next rival is Argentina or Canada. We are playing better game every game, and the team’s confidence is getting higher.”

Ronan Gormley (IRL Captain)
“We are happy today as we played a really good match, all of the team. It’s always difficult to break down a well-organized team. We defended our area well, and I think we are improving match by match. We all know that we have to work harder if we want to keep on this road”.

JPN v KOR (Quarterfinal) ARG v CAN (Quarterfinal)

POOL STANDINGS

Team Pld W D L GD Pts
Pool A
Malaysia  MAS 3 3 0 0 8 9
Poland  POL 3 1 1 1 -3 4
Korea  KOR 3 1 0 2 -1 3
Canada  CAN 3 0 1 2 -4 1
Pool B
Argentina  ARG 3 3 0 0 5 9
Japan  JPN 3 1 1 1 0 4
Ireland  IRL 3 1 0 2 -2 3
South Africa  RSA 3 0 1 2 -3 1

MATCHES

Dec 2, 2012
RSA South Africa
Poland POL
JPN Japan
Canada CAN
MAS Malaysia
Ireland IRL
KOR Korea
Argentina ARG
Jul 29, 2014 2:39am
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