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Irish teams make it through to semi-finals of Champions Challenge I Tournament

Updated: Thursday, 01 May 2014 17:00 | Comments

Alan Sothern was on target for Ireland
Alan Sothern was on target for Ireland

The Irish men and women’s sides have won their quarter-finals matches in the Champions Challenge I Tournament. 

The women’s team beat world number eight Korea 2-1 to cause the biggest upset of the tournament so far while the men earned a 3-0 success on a shoot-out against France after normal time ended 2-2. 

Ireland women will play the winners of Belgium or Spain while the men will square up against Korea or Japan this Saturday.

In the women’s match, Ireland scored early in the third minute after securing a penalty corner, Anna O’Flanagan’s initial strike was saved and Katie Mullan reacted swiftly to convert the rebound.
 
Korea remained confident throughout the first half, testing Ireland at times, but a calm and composed Green Machine dealt ably with the threats.
 
Ireland came out attacking once again in the second-half, showing early intent including winning a number of penalty corners, but Korea’s persistence and waves of attack finally paid dividends.

A well-executed penalty corner routine saw a penalty spot deflection from Han H fly over the goalkeeper and into the net

Anna O’Flanagan bagged a winner for Ireland, executing a straight strike from a penalty corner in the 56th minute to make it 2-1. 
  
Ireland’s men, meanwhile, secured their spot in the semi-finals in dramatic style in Malaysia.

Ireland went in front early on as marksman Alan Sothern converted a penalty corner inside two minutes. 
 
France equalised in the 44th minute thanks to Guillaume Derong before taking the lead for the first time in this match after Martin Genestet converted six minutes later. 

Ireland remained confident and with just six minutes to spare, Stephen Dowds converted off a penalty corner to push the side all the way to a penalty shoot-out.
 
The Green Machine closed out the match in dramatic fashion after both sides missed their first penalties, converting further three penalties to win on a shoot-out 3-0.

Eugene Magee, Peter Brown and Alan Sothern were the scorers.

The women's team meet Belgium or Spain at 2pm on Saturday, while the men face Korea or Japan 30 minutes later. 

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