Ireland’s women were left hugely frustrated as a last-second German goal denied them the scalp of the Olympic bronze medallists at the Hockey World League semi-finals in Johannesburg.
(Z Wilson, D Duke)
(A Wortmann, N Lorenz)
Ireland led twice, first from Zoe Wilson’s 10th-minute penalty corner — courtesy of a huge deflection — and then again via Deirdre Duke’s finish 44 seconds from the final hooter.
That second strike should have been the clincher but Germany created an overlap to win a last-ditch corner of their own which Nike Lorenz planted into the bottom corner.
Coach Graham Shaw argued vehemently that protocol over timings had not been followed and that the corner should have been reset. It left him considering whether an appeal was warranted.
Nonetheless, it was a second strong showing in the tournament from the Irish side against higher ranked opposition, adding to Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Japan.
The green army were excellent in the opening quarter, cutting through three times with runners from deep. This led to Katie Mullan winning the game’s opening corner which yielded the Wilson goal.
Germany closed up those openings to boss the next 45 minutes but found Ayeisha McFerran in sublime form to make several big saves. Amelie Wortmann eventually beat her at the right post with four minutes left but Ireland responded perfectly when Nicci Daly’s crash ball was poked in by Duke.
“I thought we executed the game plan brilliantly,” Shaw added.
“The girls worked incredibly hard. Germany had a lot of the play and had us on the back foot a lot which you expect against the Olympic bronze medalists. We put in a great effort and are very frustrated not to come away with the win.”
Ireland are back in action on Wednesday against Poland where a win will assure their passage through to the quarter-finals.
The Irish men continue their campaign on Tuesday at 5pm (Irish time) against Belgium.
A McFerran, N Evans, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G Pinder, R Upton, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson
Y O’Byrne, E Beatty, S Loughran, L Colvin, D Duke
J Ciupka, N Lorenz, C Stapenhorst, J Muller-Wieland, N Heyn, J Teschke, L Altenburg, F Hauke, C Pieper, M Mavers, H Granitzki
E Grave, T Martin Pelegrina, C Nobis, N Notman, A Wortmann, V Huse, L Schneider
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