Magee and Darling On The Scoresheet Against Olympic Champions
Men’s Pool B
Ireland 2 (E Magee, M Darling) Germany 3 (M Fuerste 2, M Zwicker)
Ireland pushed reigning Olympic champions Germany all the way but
ultimately were undone 3-2 in Deodoro.
It means that they must now beat both Canada on Thursday and
Argentina on Friday to give themselves a chance at reaching the quarter-finals
of the Olympic Games.
For goalkeeper David Harte, it was a case of “so close and yet so
far again” as excellent goals from Eugene Magee and Mitch Darling were
counter-acted by a penalty corner double from Moritz Fuerste and a mid-circle
slap from Martin Zwicker.
“Against the reigning Olympic champions and the world number 3,
how we improved from the game against the Dutch, there are incredible amount of
positives and proud of how we performed about the 60 minutes,” Harte said of
He was in the kind of form that saw him land the world goalkeeper
of the year award, regularly denying Florian Fuchs – among others – while
Ireland showed plenty of verve in attack.
Jonny Bell won the first corner of the game which Nicolas Jacobi
did brilliantly to get down low and deny John Jermyn’s drag-flick.
But, with 45 seconds, Germany had a set piece of their own and
Fuerste – the 2012 world player of the year – flung home a low push for 1-0.
Ireland replied after a composed period in the second quarter and
got back on terms with a breathtaking goal from Eugene Magee. Chris Cargo laid
on the pass and the Banbridge man side-stepped away from a tackle brilliantly
and fired home a rocket on his backhand side – 1-1 at half-time.
Credit: Getty Images
Bouyed by that strike, Mikey Watt took up the energy levels in the
second half with a number of strong runs. One deft piece of 3D skill saw him
beat three players before unleashing a shot that went only inches wide.
But Germany won the game in a 240 second spell between the 38th and 42nd minutes. Fuerste’s second
corner flick made it 2-1 and then Zwicker picked up an uncleared ball and
slapped into the corner for a strong advantage.
Ireland hung tough to cling onto a piece of the game in the
minutes after that before pushing forward in the latter stages. Jermyn’s
drag-flick was well saved by Jacobi before Darling pulled one back with a
screamer from the top of the circle.
That was with 83 seconds left but no final chance came as Germany
saw out time.
It means two big games ahead for Ireland and key defender Jonny
Bell says the side is ready for the challenge.
“Our heads aren’t down but we haven’t got the results we wanted.
There is good togetherness and unity in our group and we will be back strong
for the last two games.
“There has been a gradual improvement and we are getting into
our stride, playing our patterns better, probably looking more like the Ireland
that people know. That’s positive going into the last two games.”
Coach Craig Fulton, meanwhile, added: “Our defence definitely
improved; they are a good team and the stats will probably prove they had more
circle entries than us but our composure was good and we ran hard in the heat.
“We did ourselves
justice. You come off the back of a 5-0 loss and the character is determined by
how the team responds and they definitely did today. I am proud of the guys.”
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, J Jermyn, E Magee,
K Shimmins, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte
Subs: J Bell, C Cargo, A Sothern, P Caruth, S O’Donoghue
Germany: N Jacobi, M Muller, L Butt, M Haner, M Grambusch, C
Wesley, T Hauke, C Ruhr, M Fuerste, F Fuchs, T Oruz
Subs: M Trompertz, T Herzbruch, T Grambusch, M Zwicker, N Wellen