Ireland captain Jonathan Bell blasted the role the video umpire played in his side's downfall, as Olympic qualification was denied to Ireland's men in a controversial penalty shootout loss to Canada in Vancouver on Sunday night.
Mark Tumilty's side, who led 5-3 after the first leg on Saturday, appeared to have wrapped up qualification despite going down 2-1 at Rutledge Park, but a controversial penalty stroke was awarded following a referral after the final whistle adjudged Lee Cole of committing a foul on James Wallace.
Canada captain Scott Tupper slotted the penalty beyond David Fitzgerald, with the match ending 6-6 on aggregate, and the Red Caribou eventually prevailed in sudden death.
Bell condemned the part played by the video review in his post-match interview, saying: "Principally, what’s going through my mind is that the video umpire should hang his head in shame.
"It was a terrible, terrible decision in the last moments of the game.
"Fair play to Canada, they came out and went strong at us today.
"It was a pretty even game, we had chances, they had chances, and we did have a couple of chances to take the game away from them.
"But, as I say, a decision like that at this level is just not acceptable."
Head coach Mark Tumilty tried not to look too much towards the officials and wanted to praise his players.
He said: "I'm so very proud of what the guys have delivered over this last six weeks. It was a difficult period for them.
Hockey careers ended, Olympic dreams shattered & years (& years) of nothing but hard work & dedication from all players diminished... Honestly still can't believe what happened @FIH_Hockey !!! A decision that will carry pain for a lifetime - heartbroken!!— David Harte (@daveyharte) October 28, 2019
"There were a lot of unknown in relation to the coaching setup and that. But they’ve been a fantastic group of players to deal with.
"For some lads that’s their last international game. What a way to go out of international hockey. But they’ve been excellent servants to Irish hockey. They’ve had a lot of highs.
"This would be one of the major lows. It’s never a nice way to go out of your international career. But they’re a strong group of lads and there’s a lot of talent still in the group. I’m convinced that this group can bounce back."
Asked what went through his mind in the final moments of the match, he replied: "We celebrated as if we'd won it. It’s a very tough call. I wouldn’t see too many of those in any level of hockey, to be honest with you - for that to be given. But we had our chances in the shootout as well. Fitzy did very well in goals. That’s the way shootouts go. Listen, they’re potluck.
"Fair play to Canada for their performance today. They hung in there the whole time. Very hard [not] to let their heads drop when we scored early on. But that’s the way it goes. It’s not an easy one to take. It’s probably a real low one. Not easy."