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Ireland fall to last-minute strike
29 Jun 2015 10:10
Ireland 1 (O’Donoghue) v Belgium 2
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Ireland will face Australia in the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League after a last-minute goal condemned them to a 2-1 defeat to world number four side Belgium in the World Hockey League.
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The Belgians enjoyed 67% of possession throughout the match and entered the circle over 30 times, however the winning goal only came in the final 30 seconds.
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Conor Harte, a stalwart of the Irish defence, was injured in the opening exchanges of the match and helped off the pitch by medics with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
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The Irish defence absorbed a lot of pressure but the opening goal came from a well-worked Belgian penalty corner.
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Moments later though, Stephen Dowds won a PC for Ireland, which drag-flick specialist Shane O’Donoghue dispatched past the goalkeeper to level the match at 1-1.
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Irish discipline was called into question when three players were issued with cards, two yellow and one green, in a short space of time, meaning it was 11 vs 8 for a period.
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The Belgian dominance rarely let up but David Harte, Ireland’s goalkeeper, made several important saves and Ireland regained composure, despite decisions not going their way.
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With two minutes left in the match Coach Craig Fulton took Harte off and put Jonathan Bell on as the extra man. The decision didn’t pay off unfortunately, and the Belgians scored on the counter-attack, making the final score 2-1.
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Ireland will play Australia, ranked number one in the world, in the quarter-final on Wednesday at midday.
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Ireland: Harte, Jackson, Gormley, Watt, Cargo, Sothern, Caruth, O’Donoghue, Darling, Gleghorne,Harte.
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Substitutes: Bell, Dowds, Magee, Shimmins, Carlisle, Good, Fitzgerald.
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