Ireland denied victory by late Chilean sucker-punch

Women’s international test match
Chile 2 (F Tala, D Krimerman) Ireland 2 (S Hawkshaw, L Tice)
Ireland were denied victory 90 seconds from time as Denise Krimerman’s deflected corner goal saw hosts Chile nick a 2-2 draw at the Prince of Wales club on Sunday evening.

A strong second half performance looked well set to deliver victory for the Irish side as they came back from a half-time deficit to lead, picking off a number of interceptions and turning them into goals for Sarah Hawkshaw and Lena Tice. But the late sucker-punch meant it is now two draws from two at the halfway stage of this four-game series in Santiago.

“We started the game far too tentative and passive. We were very disappointed with the first half,” coach Shaw said afterwards. “The second half was far better and we played some nice hockey at times. This is fantastic opportunity for our new players to show what they are about and we are enjoying the challenge.”

Chile shaded the first period, holding more of the ball and winning the first corner before the Green Army grew into the game, securing a corner in the 13th minute which was well saved.

The Diablas went in front in the 24th minute, though, when Lena Tice miscontrolled a ball around the back and Francisca Tala shot first time from a few yards out past Emma Buckley.

Three more corners for Chile went incomplete before half-time. The second half saw a sea-change with the greater attacking intent showing immediately with Emily Beatty bursting down the right wing.

Her pull-back bounced into Ruth Maguire’s path but she missed out on the volley. The equaliser did come soon with Sarah Torrans intercepting on the 23-metre line and her reverse pass to Maguire opened up the door; she pushed into Hawkshaw’s path to touch in her first international goal in her second cap.

Torrans was proving a handful while Nikki Evans forced a save from Valentina Cerda in a strong close to the third quarter. Ireland went in front with six minutes to go when Serena Barr got in front of her player to rob possession and pick out Deridre Duke in the circle. Her flick at goal hit a body and Tice stepped forward to convert the stroke.

Evans, Duke and Barr all went close to nabbing a winning third but Chile summoned up some late corners, one of which hit the post and then the back of Hannah Matthews’ foot to somehow stay out.

But Krimerman found the net from the next play for 2-2. Ireland had two corners in the last 75 seconds but Chile held on for the draw.

Ireland play again on Tuesday and Wednesday to close out their warm-weather training camp.

Ireland: E Buckley, K Mullan, E Beatty, C Watkins, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, Z Wilson, D Duke, A Meeke, B Barr, G Frazer
Subs: Y O’Byrne, S Barr, N Evans, R Maguire, S Torrans, L Tice

Chile: V Cerda, F Villagran, D Krimerman, F Flores, C Garcia, M Urroz, C Caram, C Palma, F Parra, J Salas, D Ananias Cancino
Subs: S Filipek, F Tala, M Lagos, J Villalbeitia, P Valdivia, J Roman

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