UDG Healthcare World League round 2 – day three
Ireland 13 (N Carroll 4, E Smyth 3, M Frazer 2, K Mullan, A O’Flanagan, N Evans, A Connery) Turkey 0
Ireland proved far too strong for Turkey to complete their UDG Healthcare World League Round 2 with a huge 13-0 win, with Naomi Carroll netting four times at Belfield.
Emma Smyth weighed in with her first international hat trick – she admitted afterwards she only ever had one other triple in club hockey in her career – while Megan Frazer scored twice with Katie Mullan, Anna O’Flanagan, Nikki Evans and Aine Connery also chipping in.
For Turkey, this was a tough baptism. Their first full size astroturf pitch is only being built currently with all their skills being honed indoors while four of their panel could not travel due to university commitments.
Nonetheless, they are ambitious and have employed top level Dutch coach Bert Bunnik to act in a consultant role as they look to raise their level.
That aside, this was a very one-sided battle in which Ireland found a clinical edge that had been missing from their other two games and they scored some beautiful goals.
It sets up a quarter-final date with Lithuania on Thursday after the tournament hosts completed their group phase with three wins from three in this section of the Olympic qualifying process.
Mullan got the scoring underway on four minutes with a powerful backhand shot to the top corner after she was afforded a wealth of space in the circle.
Carroll got her first in the ninth minute, walking the ball home as the signs already began to look ominous for a big score.
Smyth then powered home for 3-0 before the end of the first quarter. From there, it was target practice with five more arriving before half time, some of them spectacular in their conception.
Carroll’s second was a collector’s item, shooting in off the underside of the crossbar, Evans tickled a Cliodhna Sargent corner sweep before Smyth got her second from a close range rebound.
Frazer cracked home the next before O’Flanagan got on the end of another corner move. Carroll completed her hat trick two minutes into the second half to make it 9-0 as the run continued while Smyth’s third closed out the victory with five minutes remaining.
It puts Ireland in good shape for their date with Lithuania on Thursday. Win that and they will have two shots at reaching the top three of the competition which means they will progress to World League 3 where the Olympic places are decided.
Darren Smith: “It was great for the girls to score a few goals and I thought we did some good things today. It was a good day.
“It keeps our form going into the crunch end of the tournament on Thursday which will be a tough game against Lithuania. From there, we play the winner of Ukraine and Belarus possibly on Saturday so there is two big games coming up. Hopefully, we can do a good job with the tail end of the tournament.”
Ireland: A McFerran, C Sargent, E Smyth, S McCay, M Frazer, A Connery, N Daly, H Matthews, K Mullan, A O’Flanagan, G Pinder
Subs: N Evans, N Carroll, C Watkins, L Colvin, K Dillon, A Meeke, E Gray
Turkey: S Guzeller, K Guzelal, C Baser, O Calayir, M Koksal, S Alpakan, A Esen, P Kucukkoc, L Ozturk, E Bahcivan, F Gultekin
Subs: P Yilmaz, S Ozdere, O Yaldiz, D Aksoy, E Iskender, M Oymal, S Turker
Ukraine 1 (H Liashenko) Canada 3 (H Haughn 2, B Stairs)
Canada wasted a glut of chances but eventually found the goals they needed to run up a 3-1 win to finish second in the group with Ukraine set for fourth place and a quarter-final against Chile.
Hannah Haughn’s tidy corner finish was the only difference between the sides at half-time, finishing off a corner move. Brienne Stairs added a second but Ukraine, from a rare attack, got one back with an excellent diving finish from Halyna Liashenko to reduce the gap to 2-1.
Haughn, though, made the game safe with five minutes to go with an impudent left post finish for the 3-1 final scoreline.
Standings: 1. Ireland 9pts (+19) 2. Canada 6pts (+6) 3. Ukraine 3pts (-4) 4. Turkey 0pts (-21)
Pool B: Belarus 3 (M Pakhanava, S Bahushevich, K Papkova) Lithuania 3 (S Grubliauskaite, S Jakovlevaite, E Nomeikaite), Belarus win 4-1 on penalties
Belarus produced a perfect set of four shoot-out goals to claim two points with Lithuania earning just one from their Pool B tie following a thrill-a-minute tie.
Belarus looked to be well in control as Maryna Pakhanava and Sviatlana Bahushevich – her third of the tournament – made it 2-0 at half-time.
Lithuania replied in kind, though, with Samanta Jakovlevaite’s delightful chip and Simona Grubliauskaite’s thunderous corner made it 2-2 by the 39th minute.
Krestina Papkova restored the Belarus lead but Lithuania fought back via Erlanda Nomeikaite to level at 3-3 in the 55th minute and, despite a lot of late corners, that was how it remained.
Belarus, though, grabbed the bonus point in the shoot-out as they scored all four of their penalties while saving two Lithuanian efforts.
Austria 0 Chile 6 (D Caram 2, M Urroz, D Krimerman, F Pizarro, S Filipek)
Chile eased to top spot in Pool B as a strong second half performance saw them ease to a 6-0 win over Austria. Manuela Urroz got the only goal of the first half to get them up and running before they cut loose with five goals in a nine minute spell in the second half.
Denise Krimerman’s corner started the run before Francisca Pizarro applied a brilliant volley for 3-0. Daniel Caram added the next two before Sofia Filipek completed the scoring.
Standings: 1. Chile 9pts (+11) 2. Belarus 5pts (+1) 3. Austria 3pts (-4) 4. Lithuania 1pt (-8)
Quarter-finals (times to be confirmed): Ireland vs Lithuania; Chile vs Turkey; Belarus vs Ukraine; Austria vs Canada