Ireland have drawn 2-2 with Argentina today, regaining some pride after last night’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Pumas.
Ireland started the game with a determined pace and opened the scoring after only five minutes when Eugene Magee created a little bit of magic by pulling the play along the backline to pick out Alan Sothern on the penalty spot to slap the ball home for a great Irish opening.
The visitors had a golden opportunity to equalise in the 7th minute winning three consecutive penalty corners but an on form Harte in goals kept the Pumas at bay. The game continued to ebb and flow but for the remaining 15 minutes Ireland were forced onto the back foot as Argentina pressed high continually pounding the Irish defence.
Although the remainder of the half was played primarily in the Irish half the back line mopped up the pressure well and defied the Puma’s any further penalty corners or indeed an equaliser.
Argentina equalized eight minutes into the second half when a goal mouth scramble ensued around the Irish circle, giving Diego Tanuscio the opportunity to draw his side level and he made no mistake
Tanuscio scored his brace just 60 seconds later when the Irish defence were drawn in along the back line giving Tanuscio space on the penalty spot to fire home for a 2-1 lead.
Ireland won their first penalty corner in the 47th minute but Butler’s drag was easily blocked down.
The Irish defence continued to soak up the pressure with Lewis on the right looking particularly solid.
Ireland stepped up the pace with just 10 minutes left on the clock and started to show some flair of their own with Gormley and Brennan feeding the ball through well on the right hand side.
They were rewarded for their play in the 63 minute through a second penalty corner of the match, which was expertly put away by John Jermyn.
The final minutes provided some fast paced entertaining hockey as both sides continued to push for the winner including an Argentinean penalty corner in the final two minutes.
Ireland will no doubt be satisfied with a draw in what was an improved performance by the boys in green on last night’s match.
Coach Dave Passmore said: ‘This was a pleasing result given the age and experience of this group. We took a lot of lessons learned yesterday on board and ground out a deserved draw.
‘We still need to develop confidence in our own ability at this level and stop thinking that we cannot compete with these types of teams. However, this performance demonstrates the depth of talent and the ability of players from the ‘Ireland A’ group at this level.’