Korea 8, Ukraine 2
Korea showed why it is the highest ranked team in at this Road To London tournament after making easy work of Ukraine in a 8-2 win. It was clear from the first whistle that this was a game between the sixth-ranked team in the FIH World Ranking against the #29-ranked team as Korea dominated the pace and rarely lost possession of the ball.
Korea was rewarded on its third corner attempt when Jong Hyun Jang fired in the ball in for the 1-0 lead in the eighth minute of action. Ukraine responded with the surprise goal scoring on its first shot of the game. But before anyone could even say ‘Kiev’, Korea struck with two goals to claim a 3-1 lead. Keun Dae Oh and Nam Yong Lee scored the markers.
After the flurry, the goal scoring settled down. Korea put in the 4-1 goal with 53 seconds left in the half owning a hefty three-goal lead at the break.
Korea wasted no time adding to its lead in the second half, scoring five minutes into action on a penalty corner flicked into high right corner of the net. After the goal Korea marched right back down the field and took the 6-1 lead. Hyun Woo Nam scored both goals for the Koreans.
With the game well in hand, both teams took the tact of saving some gas for the long week ahead. Despite the scaled back attack, the teams still managed to combine for three goals with Korea putting in two, bringing the final to 8-2.
Ireland 6, Russia 1
Host Ireland started its bid to go to the London Games in grand fashion with a 6-1 win against Russia.
Ireland came out nervous but settled in thanks to a pair of goals that come less than 30 seconds apart in the 14th minute. John Jermyn flick in a penalty corner and Timothy Cockram followed up for the 2-0 lead after getting the feed from Jermyn.
Ravshanzhon Zakirov helped the Russian regain their composure, putting in the 2-1 goal in the 25th minute after a scramble in front of the goal. The marker was the last of the half as Ireland took the slim one-.goal lead into the break.
Ten minutes into the second half Michael Darling gave Ireland the 3-1 lead after driving home the ball after the scrum in front of the goal. The lead extended further and gave Ireland some breathing room when Peter Caruth slapped in the 4-1 goal four minutes later. From there Ireland took control putting in another two goals to roll to the 6-1 win.
“We’re pleased that we were able to score six goals,” said Irish head coach Paul Revington. “It was a closer game than the final score indicated. We have some work to do before the upcoming games.”
The player of the game was Ireland's Ronan Gormley.
Note: Umpire Andrew Kennedy from England was honored in a pre-game ceremony for his 50th cap.
Malaysia 5, Chile 1
Thirteenth-ranked Malaysia had its hands full against #26 Chile in today’s Electric Ireland FIH Road to London opening game but ultimately pulled away for the win with three rapid fire goals early in the second half.
Under cloudy, cool skies in Dublin it took both teams a while to warm up to the action. Malaysia drew first blood of the event when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim put in the 1-0 goal 17 minutes into action. Jan Richter had the answer for Chile five minutes later with a low flick. Chile goaltender Mathias Andwandter was kept on his toes for the remainder of the half but did his part to keep Chile’s hopes alive.
Malaysia wasted no time taking the 2-1 lead in the second half, firing a shot in just one minute into action. Moments later Malaysia took its first convincing advantage of the game when the ball trickled past Andwadter for the 3-1 lead. Less than two minutes later, Malaysia put in the 4-1 goal, the final blow for Chile, who didn’t mount an attack for the remaining 20 minutes. One last Malaysian tally in the 61st minute brought the final to 5-1.
Malaysia’s Faizal Saari was named the player of the game.
Tomorrow all six teams are back in action as Malaysia plays Russia in the early game, the Ukraine takes on host Ireland in the second game of the day, and Korea and Chile meet in the late game
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