|February 25th, 2013|
|1||Round Robin||10:30am||IRL - CZE||4 - 1 (2 - 1)||Final|
Ireland – Czech Republic 4-1 (2-1 halftime)
Ireland entered the Hockey World League Round 2 tournament as the top-ranked team in the FIH World Ranking weighing in at #15. But today’s meeting against lowest-ranked #37 Czech Republic was anything but a cakewalk for the Irish, who held a slim 2-1 lead at the half, but powered home a 4-1 victory.
The Czechs took the surprising 1-0 lead just five minutes into action when Monika Kostalova took advantage of an Irish defensive miscue to take the lead. Ireland had several penalty corners following the goal, but it wasn’t until the 17th minute that the Irish found the equalizer when Lisa Jacob finally converted one of the short corner chances. Aine Connery gave Ireland its first lead of the game just as time expired at the half-time break.
Ireland came out fired up in the second half as Audrey O’Flynn quickly turned the lead into a 3-1 advantage with a penalty corner shot just two minutes in the second stanza. From there, Ireland dominated the action and left nothing to chance, keeping the Czechs far away from being a scoring threat. Nicola Gray ultimately sealed the win late in the game with a 4-1 goal, but it must be said that O’Flynn’s earlier marker was the true final blow for the Czechs.
Ireland will look to improve a bit against Belarus tomorrow, while the Czechs take on host Spain.