Ireland will take a two goal lead into the second leg of their Olympic qualifier against Canada tomorrow after beating the hosts 5-3 in Vancouver today.
A goal from Chris Cargo and two each from Shane O’Donoghue and Sean Murray gave Ireland the win in an impressive performance.
Man-of-the-match O’Donoghue attributed the win to the fighting Irish spirit that the Green Machine traveled with.
“It’s a good win. It’s one from two. And that’s all it is”, he said. “Obviously there was a lot of fighting spirit out there and that was one thing we said before we came to these games: that we would play that Irish fighting spirit. And we did.
“We had a couple of sucker-punches during the game. Bounced back. Showed the resilience of this group.
“But, listen, the job is only half-way done.
“We did our homework obviously”, O’Donoghue continud. “We negated their strengths for most of the game.
'Our dream is still on the line.'
— Ireland Men's Hockey (@IreMenHockey) October 27, 2019
“They got a couple of chances that went astray or cut across the back post, but I think in general we kept them at bay. Kept their key players under control and I think from there we flourished.
Ireland now look to recover and regroup ahead of the second leg, with Canada needing to win it by at least two goals to reach the 2020 Olympics.
“Our dream is still on the line”, O’Donoghue continued. “Nothing is a given here and we’re only 50% of the way there. So we’ll do whatever we have to do individually.”
The second leg takes place at 9pm (Irish time) with the game being shown via numerous outlets
- Republic of Ireland – RTE News Now (Channel 200 on Virgin Media; Channel 521 on Sky) & and the RTE Player
- Northern Ireland – BBC NI Website
- UK and Ireland – BT Sport 3
- Other areas – via the FIH.Live website