Ireland’s Women’s Hockey Team concluded their four-match series against Chile with a dominant 3-0 victory in Santiago. Three second-half goals were enough to give the 2018 World Cup finalists victory.
Ireland had failed to win in their opening three games drawing twice and losing once.
The Green Army started-off in a blistering pace, implementing a high counter-press and turning over possession in Chile’s half. However despite dominating possession, Ireland struggled to find the killer touch to turn their dominance into goals.
Hannah Matthews created a great opening in the first-quarter, as she sent a sweeping pass into the circle with the deflection going wide of the posts. Deirdre Duke then won Ireland a penalty corner but Chloe Watkins sweep was brilliantly saved by Schuler in the Chilean goal.
Yvonne O’Byrne had a fine game, making several runs out of defence and firing dangerous balls into the circle. It was her intervention which saw Ireland take the lead, as they began to turn the screw in the second half.
Ireland won several penalty corners as the pressure began to mount. Good work from O’Flanagan won Ireland a penalty corner and O’Byrne opened the scoring with a deflection.
Chile were unable to stop the onslaught as O’Flanagan doubled the lead just minutes later. Deirdre Duke capped off an energetic performance with Ireland’s final goal of the game. A sweeping counter-attack put the gloss on a dominant Irish performance.
Ireland: Y O’Byrne, K Mullan (capt), A McFerran, C Watkins, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke, B Barr, G Frazer.
Subs: E Buckley, S Barr, N Evans, E Tice, E Beatty, S Torrans, A Meeke.
Ireland took revenge on Chile who beat them 3-0 on Tuesday. This match saw Ireland’s newest caps Elliot, Hawkshaw and the Barr twins all started the game after making their debuts in Saturday’s 0-0 draw.
The story of the match wasn’t too dissimilar from yesterday’s game however Ireland failed to convert their chances, whilst Chile made theirs count on the day.
Following a cagey first quarter, Chile’s captain Camila Caram fired a penalty corner into the net with 21 minutes on the clock, to put Chile into the lead. Ireland responded well to going a goal down and created an opening themselves which resulted in a penalty corner. The ball was dragged back to Roisin Upton who was unable to convert the ball into the goal.
Right on half-time, Chile doubles their lead after another well worked penalty corner was fired in by Manuela Urroz. The second-half passed both sides by as the effects of three games in four days appeared to take its toll on some of the players. Both midfields continued to work tirelessly however neither side could conjure up a clear opening.
Ireland hunted down their first goal of the game and game close with an effort deflecting off the post and another shot cleared off the line by the Chilean defence.
Chile managed to seal victory with their third goal of the game, coming from another successful penalty corner routine. Maria Maldonado scored her first of the game.
Ireland: E Murphy, A Naughton, Y O’Byrne, A Elliott, S Barr, E Tice, R Upton, N Daly, S Hawkshaw, D Duke, B Barr
Subs: N Evans (Captain), R Maguire, A McFerran, H Matthews, S Torrans, A Meeke, G Frazer
Ireland are preparing for yet another significant year as they bid for Olympic qualification for the first time. In June, Ireland compete at the Hockey Series Finals where the top two sides will advance to a head-to-head Olympic qualifier in September. In between all of this, Ireland also compete at the European Championships in August.