Our hockey lads are left in tears as Olympic glory slips from grasp in final two seconds
IT TOOK just one goal two seconds from the final whistle to end the Olympic dreams of Ireland's hockey elite.
These were the heartbreaking scenes in Belfield as Ireland's quest for an unprecedented place at the London Games ended in dramatic fashion.
Although not renowned as a hockey nation, the Irish first team squad was on the cusp of securing a dream ticket to the Olympic Games.
But their dreams lay in ruins just two seconds before the final whistle when opponents South Korea scored a last-gasp goal. Ireland went down 3-2 despite taking the lead twice during the encounter.
A crowd of 2,000 people, including President Michael D Higgins, were at the UCD ground yesterday to witness men's hockey at its best.
But the Olympic fever that swept through the ground was cruelly ended with Nam Yong Lee's late goal.
Irish coach Paul Revington struggled to find the words to describe the defeat, as many of his players openly wept on the pitch.
"It's hard to take. To have it taken away at the end like that is a bitter and tough call," he revealed.
"It was a tight game. Korea always looked dangerous. Their speed and running is a tough thing to control and towards the end I don't think we controlled it."
But amid all the heartache, some players found ground for optimism.
"They are such a strong group of men, they really are," said Irish defender John Jackson.
"We're staying together. People might have different circumstances, but there is belief in this squad. We're staying together and we're all going to get there together," he added.
Despite the optimism, Ireland's hockey elite know well that their next chance at Olympic glory is another four years away.