* Video courtesy of TazVideoSport
World Cup Qualifier
Ireland 4 (Alan Sothern 3, John Jermyn) Chile 1 (Thomas Kannegniesser)
Four second half goals belatedly eased the nerves but, despite a better connected performance than Saturday’s disjointed 6-1 hammering of USA, Ireland endured a stern test against a resolute Chile.
Last time out, Ireland comprehensively got the better of the South Americans with a 3-0 win in July in the Champion’s Challenge II and a penalty corner award inside two minutes gave the impression things might continue in that vein.
But, as it transpired, it proved to be the start of a frustrating day at the set-piece with seven first half corners going a begging. Chile, however, launched a huge aerial assault and earned a corner from one lengthy overhead in the 16th minute which Thomas Kannegneisser duly dispatched for a shock lead.
Chile’s corner defence, backed up Mathias Antwander in the pads, was proving a tough nut to crack and it was not until the second minute of the second half before Ireland finally got back on terms after a period of near constant attacking. Graham Shaw threaded the pass and Alan Sothern opened his tournament account with his 11th international goal with a fine deflection from the flick spot past Antwander.
The pressure continued but the scoreline refused to budge in the face of an all hands to the pump rearguard effort. But, with nine minutes remaining, John Jermyn popped up to scoop in a loose ball in the circle and finally give Ireland the lead. Alan Sothern banged in two corner goals in the last three minutes to ease the tension and improve the goal difference.
Belgium, on Tuesday, showed they will be formidable opponents as they thrashed the Czech Republic 9-0 with eight goals coming from play. Tom Boon hit a second-half hat-trick, as well as being sin-binned, to give the Belgians the upperhand on goal difference after two games.
Argentina, meanwhile, hit form after their opening day troubles, beating the USA 6-1.
Ireland: David Harte, Ronan Gormley (capt), Mikey Watt, Stephen Butler, John Jermyn, Eugene Magee, Timmy Cockram, David Ames, Paul Gleghorne, Conor Harte, Tim Lewis
Subs: John Jackson, Graham Shaw, Mitch Darling, Alan Sothern, Geoff McCabe
Results: Ireland 4 (Alan Sothern 3, John Jermyn) Chile 1 (T Kannegneisser); Belgium 9 Czech Republic 0; Argentina 6 USA 1
Standings: 1. Belgium 6pts (+12) 2. Ireland 6pts (+8) 3. Argentina 6pts (+6) 4. Chile 0pts (-6) 5. USA 0pts (-10) 6. Czech Republic 0pts (-10)
* WorldHockey’s interview with Saturday’s hat-trick hero Mikey Watt