Hockey World Cup 2018, Ireland vs China: 3 Standout Players from the match
- China held Ireland to a 1-1 draw in a pulsating encounter at the Kalinga Stadium.
After pulling off a shock 2-2 draw against England in their opening match, China continued their astonishing campaign in the 2018 Hockey World Cup with a pulsating 1-1 draw against Ireland on Tuesday.
Despite their myriad attempts inside the circle, Ireland's strikers were made to work remarkably hard by the determined Chinese defence. At the half-time mark, the scoreline remained goalless.
An astute penalty-corner variation enabled China to pull ahead in the 43rd minute. Guo Jin's goal was soon levelled by a spectacular strike from Alan Sothern.
Eventually, Ireland had to be content with a shared encounter.
Here are three standout players from the enthralling 1-1 draw between Ireland and China.
#1 Alan Sothern (Ireland)
It was a rather frustrating game for Ireland early on as their strikers failed to grab numerous opportunities to put the ball into the back of the net.
In the 13th minute, Alan Sothern missed a golden chance by tipping his reverse flick over the crossbar. Eleven minutes later, a tight deflection of his went into the side-netting.
However, Sothern made it count in the third quarter. With China taking a surprise 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute, the pressure was on Ireland for the first time in the game. Their talisman striker rose to the challenge and fired in a stunning equaliser.
Just a minute left before the end of the third quarter, Michael Robson unleashed a fast and furious ball into the circle.
Crouching low on the turf, Sothern leapt in the air and angled his stick in such a way that the deflection screamed into the goal. For delivering what is arguably the goal of the tournament thus far, he was named Player of the Match.