Ireland need one of their biggest wins to date after losing to debutants Chile in Amstelveen if they want to continue their World Cup journey.
That means they need to win against world No. 5 Germany (15:30 Irish time) and then hope that goal difference will work in their favor later when Chile meet the Netherlands.
It was a day when Ireland failed to make the most of their attack on the penalty corner as 10 set pieces went unconverted while the South American side struck the winner via Denise Krimerman Losada with 12 minutes remaining.
Coach Sean Dancer regretted those chances as the decisive goal would not come their way.
“Really disappointed,” he said afterwards. “We dominated the first half and couldn’t score; Chile had the best second half, especially the third quarter was so difficult to concede and lose 0-1. Chile drove pretty good lines in the penalty corners and took away some of the things we wanted to do. We have to give them credit.”
Hannah McLoughlin agreed, adding: “It’s definitely a game that we aimed for three points and obviously didn’t get. We have 24 hours for our game against Germany, so we have to park this game quickly, learn from it and prepare for tomorrow.”
The first three quarters were goalless, with Ireland failing to take full advantage of six corners, while Chile were undisciplined and spent a third of the first half shorthanded by cards. Sarah Torrans deflected a chance into the bottom corner in the first minute, but Katie Mullan’s cross counted as if she had hit her backstick.
Mullan then had a backhand shot test against Claudia Schuler before the South American side endured their first sin binnings with less than 10 minutes left as passions threatened to boil over. The cross from Chile’s Domenica Ananias was then almost objected by a diving Paula Valdivia. McLoughlin came closest to breaking through the block when she rolled onto her back and clipped a shot that notched the outside of the left post.
The third quarter got rougher
But with 12 minutes remaining, the game turned when Chile created another set piece and this time Denise Krimerman hit the board hard and unerringly Losada.
The Green Army responded and won three more corners without success, while Zara Malseed had three shots on goal, all well defended. Life got even tougher when Lena Tice was shown a yellow card and Róisín Upton received a blow to the head, pinning Chile in the staccato finish.
Sarah Hawkshaw said the focus quickly turned to Germany:
“It’s huge [all-or-nothing] Opportunity for us to object to them and I really believe we can.”
Ireland—A McFerran, M Carey, R Upton, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan, H McLoughlin, S Torrans, L Tice, C Perdue, D Duke, E Curran. Substitutes: S McAuley, Z Malseed, N Carroll, C Beggs, K McKee, C Hamill, L Murphy.
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https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/hockey/chile-sucker-punch-leaves-irish-needing-to-beat-germany-to-keep-dream-alive-41817164.html Chile sucker punch has Irish beat Germany to keep dream alive