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Irish beat Austria in World League
02 Mar 2015 11:11
Ireland 3 Austria 1
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Ireland made it two wins from two at the World League Round Two at a rain-soaked Chula Vista in San Diego, seeing off Austria 3-1 to add to Saturday’s 8-0 win over Chile.
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It was hard work as the incessant rain made the pitch slow and tough to negotiate but Craig Fulton’s side battled well to head up the group.
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It took until the 23rd minute for Ireland to breakthrough, the goal coming from a breathtaking sucker-punch after Austria’s first penalty corner was well saved by David Harte.
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From there, the ball was quickly worked up the pitch to Mikey Watt who converted his third goal in two games.
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Ireland controlled the play from then on and held their slender lead until half-time.
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Austrian goalkeeper Michael Mantler did well to deny Shane O’Donoghue and Peter Caruth early in the second half while Michael Korper forced a great stop from Ronan Gormley, Ireland’s record caps holder saving the ball on the line onto the crossbar.
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The lead was extended – in spite of Eugene Magee being shown a yellow card – from a penalty corner which Alan Sothern converted for a 2-0 lead in the 44th minute.
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Austria clawed back a goal early in the final quarter, winning a corner that Dominic Uher rattled home on the switch, to set up a lively closing phase with David Harte called on to make a great save to keep Ireland in front.
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They were back in the comfort zone, though, when Sothern’s smart run opened the door for O’Donoghue who applied an excellent backhand strike for a 3-1 lead with six minutes left.
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The Austrians plight got even tougher when Florian Steyrer was sin-binned for the last five minutes and Ireland closed out their second success in two days.
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The win means Craig Fulton’s side top Pool A and need just a draw from their remaining group game against winless Italy on Tuesday (9pm, Irish time) to stay on top.
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