Green Machine Secure Immense 4-2 Victory Against Canada
Ireland 4 (S O’Donoghue 2, P Caruth, M Darling) Canada 2 (S Tupper
Ireland’s history-makers added yet another amazing victory to
their list of achievements as their dramatic 4-2 win over Canada keeps them in
with a fighting chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.
Their cause was helped an hour later when Germany scored a
stunning equaliser with mere seconds remaining against Argentina.
The upshot is that if Ireland can beat Argentina in their final
group game on Friday evening (11.30pm, Irish time) in Deodoro then a
quarter-final spot awaits.
Looking back on the Irish game, head coach Craig Fulton said it
was “just what we needed”.
“The first Olympic win, three points. It’s huge. They deserved it.
We have been pushing hard for four games and everyone can see the lads are
leaving it all on the field. Today, we were clinical.”
Indeed, Shane O’Donoghue scored just 56 seconds into the game with
a brilliant drag-flick over the head of the diminutive David Carter for a very
early 1-0 lead.
Canada bounced back and had much of the play until their captain
and key central defender Scott Tupper took a green card suspension. In his
absence, Ireland won another penalty corner that O’Donoghue launched in to the
right of the goal for 2-0. Within 75 seconds, it was 3-0 as Peter Caruth dove
full-length onto a rebound off Carter’s pads to score – it capped an excellent
move that had seen Mikey Watt take the initial first time shot that created the
The foot was taken off the gas in the second half to some extent
and Canada pressed forward with menace. The returning Tupper got one back with
an excellent shot from the top the circle and Ireland only stayed 3-1 ahead
going into the last quarter courtesy of Ronan Gormley’s dexterity, flicking the
ball away from the goal line off Matthew Guest’s deflected cross.
Tupper’s drag-flick clipped the inside of the post on its way in
to reduce the gap further and it was panic stations soon after. Eugene Magee
somehow took another chance off the line, bouncing it off the post and away to
From a rare Irish break-out, Chris Cargo and Watt kept a chance
alive and Mitch Darling was on hand to nudge the ball over the line for his
second goal of the tournament. It sealed a famous victory and keeps Ireland’s
chances alive for another day at least.
Reflecting on the result, Fulton said: “We were under pressure at
the end of course but it’s the last quarter of an Olympic pool game and
everything counts. Chuffed, proud of everyone.
“The fans, the support has been immense...and I
hope it grows and people get behind the team because they really are putting
themselves out there.
“To go 3-0 up, the way we played and
executed the corners was something that has been missing from the last three
games but we knew we had it in us and it was awesome.”
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, E Magee,
S O’Donoghue, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte
Subs: J Bell, A Sothern, J Jermyn, P Caruth, K Shimmins
Canada: D Carter, S Tupper, D Teixeira, G Ho-Garcia, K Pereira, J
Gill, A Froese, G Johnston, M Pearson, M Sarmento, S Panesar
Subs: B Martin, B Bissett, I Smythe, M Guest, T Curran