WATCH: Ireland progress to EuroHockey semi-finals for first time ever

By Stephen Barry

The Irish Men’s Hockey team have reached the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Championships, after a 2-2 draw with world number four side Belgium.

Ireland led twice in a game they only needed to draw, but Belgium pegged them back both times.

However Ireland were able to hold on, qualifying to play the Netherlands in the last-four.

“We knew what we had to do,” said Irish goalscorer Peter Caruth after the game in London.

“We had to come out and we didn’t want to defend for a draw; we knew we had to go out and take it to Belgium, a side we actually haven’t beaten before.”

Caruth gave Craig Fulton's side the lead late in the first-half after Shane O'Donoghue had teed him up close to goal.

WATCH: Ireland progress to EuroHockey semi-finals for first time ever

Sebastian Dockier equalised for Belgium after a David Harte save, but John Jackson restored Ireland’s lead minutes later.

It only took two minutes for Belgium to level once again in a lively third quarter, with Florent van Aubel finishing past Harte.

However Ireland held on to create history, much to Caruth’s delight:

“The structure in Ireland is getting bigger, there’s more people playing it and all the coaching staff have brought us on.

“We’re getting fitter, we’re getting stronger and a lot of our players are still playing abroad. With the Irish Hockey League starting in Ireland, it’s a big step up and it’s all changing.”

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