Ireland take third place in Argentina
Updated: Monday, 03 Dec 2012 10:10
Peter Caruth grabbed a dramatic golden goal in extra time to earn Ireland a deserved bronze medal at the Champions Challenge 1 in Argentina.
Ireland were involved in yet another thrilling match as they squared off against Malaysia and former coach Paul Revington for third place.
Goals from Geoff McCabe and Conor Harte (2) meant the game went into overtime and Caruth was the hero at the death.
"It’s a really pleasing end to a positive 10 days" - Andrew Meridith
Ireland started quickest out of the blocks on another warm evening in Quilmes, taking the lead in the third minute.
The influential Michael Watt found McCabe on the edge of the circle to thunder a shot past the Malaysian keeper.
Ireland continued to look bright in the early exchanges but Malaysia pulled themselves level in the 18th minute when they converted following their first real clear-cut opportunity.
Ireland, undeterred by conceding the equaliser, regained the lead in the 27th minute when Conor Harte, winning his 100th cap, fired high into the goal following a penalty corner variation.
The sides went in at half-time with the scoreline at 2-1 but both teams down to 10 men.
The second half began in a similar frantic vein to the first with Ireland having the better of the play and creating good opportunities to score via the ever-threatening Caruth, Michael and John Jackson.
Malaysia managed to pull themselves level at 2-2, against the run of play, and set up an amazing finish to the game where both teams were reduced in numbers at differing times.
Malaysia looked to have stolen the game from Ireland’s grasp with only eight minutes remaining when Ireland were again reduced to 10 men.
Within minutes Malaysia slotted home to take a 3-2 lead following a good save from David Harte in the Irish goal.
With three minutes remaining Conor Harte pounced once again to breathe life into Ireland’s quest.
Before the end, there was still time for Ireland to be reduced further to nine men when Eugene Magee got his marching orders.
Ireland started the extra-time period knowing that it would take a titanic effort to keep up the level of performance of the previous 70 minutes.
David Harte was proving to be a huge influence on the game as the Irish stopper put in yet another commanding display to keep Ireland in the game with reduced numbers.
With time running out and the game destined for dreaded penalty strokes, Caruth fired home the game-winning golden goal.
Speaking after the game, coach Andrew Meredith said:“It’s a really pleasing end to a positive 10 days.
“Despite all the obstacles placed in front of the playing group during the game, we were able to finish with our best performance of the tournament. A massive thank you must go to the entire hockey community for getting behind their national hockey team, and making this possible."
Ireland Starting XI: D Harte, C Harte, Jackson, Gormley(c), Loughrey, McCabe, McConnell, Jermyn, O'Donoghue, Caruth, Watt