Ireland v Germany Post Match Report
Another big thank you to our superfan correspondent, @RuthyMcDonagh, for our post-match report after Ireland’s women’s hockey team’s game in Tokyo!
Well!! I didn’t have the greatest start as I got distracted by work emails (yes at 4am), a true example of work-from home life. Looking back at the highlights it was an aerial over the Irish defense, a cut inside, and a tidy reverse that gave Germany the leads coming into the last 5 minutes of the first quarter. A German PC followed that went wide and just minutes later Ireland recorded their first PC but Roisin Upton’s drag was saved and the first quarter ended 0-1.
A couple of changes to the Irish lineup this morning with Nicci Daly back in the fold and Zara Malseed coming in for her Olympic debut. Naomi Carroll and Sarah Torrans are rested. Early into the second quarter Ireland win a penalty corner for a breakdown tackle just outside the circle. Upton’s drag was saved with the ball going high to Hannah Matthews on the post, but she just couldn’t get the control needed to slot the ball across the line. Just 4 minutes later and Cecile Pieper extends the German lead to 2 with a cheeky deflection after a big cross in from the right. Ireland are doing well but overall struggling to attack in waves, however, chances for Chloe Watkins and Katie Mullan weren’t to be.
Moving into the 3 rd quarter and Germany are given a green card, which means 2 minutes in the sin bin. This was followed shortly by Ireland’s Anna O’Flanagan receiving a harsh 10-minute yellow, initially thought to be a green, then a 5-minute yellow. A long wait on the sideline for Anna. Germany rewarded with a couple of PCs but nothing comes of them until a referral for an upgrade to a penalty stroke is given and they extend their lead to 0-3. 25 minutes in and Ireland get a PC and Lena Tice drags the ball past the German goalkeeper and outing Ireland on the scoreboard, making it 1-3. O’Flanagan returns to the pitch with less than 3 minutes left and the quarter ends 1-3.
With just 15 minutes on the clock, a comeback for the Green Army in the warm conditions was always going to be an ask. Zara Malseed had a good opportunity early on in the quarter in which the save rewarded Ireland with a PC. This initial slap hit, seeking a deflection was saved but resulted in another PC that led to Hannah McLoughlin’s first-ever international goal and reducing the gap to 2-3. The final 5 minutes were end to end, Germany extended their lead to 2-4 following a referral from Ayeisha McFerran in goals for an obstruction on her. On review of the video, it appeared to be valid, however, the video umpire rejected the referral and the goal stood. Shortly after Ireland had the ball in the back of the net following a PC, but the goal was overturned for back stick. Ireland had already lost their referral so had to accept the decision and continued fighting to bridge the gap, with just 4 seconds to go, Ireland won another PC but they couldn’t claw one back.
The result will be hard to take for the Green Army after a hard-fought battle, and I expect the conversation will be an interesting one within the hockey community following some of the decisions, however, that is sport and Ireland now need to rub it off, move on and begin their recovery and focus for their final two pool fixtures against India and Great Britain on Friday and Saturday respectively.
India is up first, at 3.45am on Friday. The World Number
10 side, lost 1-4 to GB earlier today, meaning they sit on 0 points in the table and will be
targeting Ireland to pick up their first points of the Olympics. Current Olympic champions GB will be waiting in the background for the final pool fixture which takes place on Saturday at
12.45pm, finally, a lie-in!!