Hockey World Cup 2018, Ireland vs England: 3 Standout Players from the match
- England sealed their Crossover spot with a 4-2 victory over Ireland at the Kalinga Stadium.
Having drawn against China and lost against Australia, England were under immense pressure when they took on Ireland in the last Pool B match of the 2018 Hockey World Cup. A defeat would have ended their World Cup dreams at the group stage itself.
Shedding their conservatism, England played free-flowing and attacking hockey to defeat Ireland by a comprehensive 4-2 margin at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. David Condon set the platform with a field goal in the 15th minute.
After a goalless second quarter, Ireland returned to level terms through Chris Cargo's strike in the 35th minute. A spree of goals ensued as Liam Ansell propelled England into the lead before Shane O'Donoghue converted a penalty corner into an equaliser. But James Gall's shot handed the advantage back to the seventh-ranked team.
Upon overcoming some tense moments, England sealed the game through tenacious defending in the final 15 minutes.
Mark Gleghorne's drag-flick cemented their supremacy in the dying moments of the game. The 2-4 defeat meant that Ireland was knocked out of the tournament.
Here are three standout players from England's clinical triumph against Ireland.
#3 Shane O'Donoghue (Ireland)
In such a crucial encounter, Ireland were relying on talisman Shane O'Donoghue and his proven track record under pressure.
The 26-year old was largely inconspicuous during the first two quarters. However, at a time when the Green Machine badly needed him to step up, he produced a lethal drag-flick to level the scores in the third quarter.
Having tirelessly attacked the inner circle, Ireland were handed a lifeline when Liam Sanford's hasty clearance edged a fellow defender's boot.
The stage was set for O'Donoghue to capitalise on the rare opportunity. Such was the ferocity of his drag-flick that even the deflection cannoned past George Pinner into the back of the net.
However, the man himself will be extremely disappointed at his team's early exit from the tournament.