Ireland 1-1 France (Ireland win 4-3 in shootout)
Ireland all but assured themselves of a place at next year’s World Cup after recording a 4-3 shootout win over France in their World League encounter in South Africa today.
Hugo Genestet gave France the lead in the fifth to eight place play-off match before Shane O'Donoghue levelled in the second half with a penalty stroke.
Ireland now face New Zealand in the fifth-sixth place play-off with the winners guaranteed a place in the 2018 World Cup in India. However, the team that finishes sixth is also almost certain to feature in Bhubaneswar.
Genestet struck the opening goal of the game in the first quarter when he hammered a blocked penalty corner into the corner of the goal.
Sean Murray won Ireland a penalty stroke against the run of play with a quarter left to play, which O’Donoghue rifled into the top corner.
Davy Harte proved the difference in the shootout as he saved both Guillaume Deront and Genestet’s efforts, while Chris Cargo sealed the victory with the final goal.
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell (Captain), M Bell, C Cargo, M Nelson, A Sothern, S O’Donoghue, C Harte, J Duncan, S Cole.
Subs: J Carr, E Magee, N Glassey, S Murray, P Gleghorne, S Loughrey, J McKee (Injured)
France: P van Straaten, H Genestet, S Martin Brisac, V Lockwood, C Masson, N Dumont, G Deront, JP Forgues, V Charlet (Captain), E Tynevez, A Thieffry.
Subs: C Peters-Deutz, JL Kieffer, B Rogeau, G Baumgarten, F Goyet, E Curty, C Saunier