Saturday 24 March 2018

Olympic hope still alive

IRELAND kept their Olympic Games ambitions alive with a 1-1 draw against world sixth-ranked South Korea in the qualifying tournament at Belfield.

A first-half David Ames strike from a well-crafted penalty corner routine was cancelled out by a goal from Hyun Woo Nam early in the second period.

Ireland sustained a worrying injury as central defender Conor Harte was stretchered off the pitch late on after taking a knock on the head.

"We managed to salvage a point from an average performance," was the downbeat assessment of coach Paul Revington.

A string of fluffed hits and misplaced passes helped to put the Asians - who had two Olympic finalists of 2004 vintage in their ranks - at ease in front of a partisan capacity crowd.

Once the nerves had settled, it was Ireland who took the initiative, with Peter Caruth cursing his luck after his shot glanced off Myung Ho Lee's post at a penalty corner. They made the most of a second set-piece, won by Eugene Magee and converted by Ames, who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Lee from Timmy Cockram's delivery on 27 minutes.

Nam equalised five minutes into the second period, also from a corner, beating netminder Davy Harte with a quickfire low shot.

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