Image Courtesy: @TheHockeyIndia
Ireland and China shared honours as they played out a 1-1 draw as the two teams found it difficult to break down their opponents' stubborn defences in their second Pool B match at the ongoing Men's Hockey World Cup here at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.
China took the attacking initiative as Suozhu Ao placed a right-winged cross into the circle, but Ireland managed to block out the danger. The first quarter ended with Matthew Nelson, in the 15th minute, going close but his reverse stroke hit the woodwork.
In the 19th minute of the match, Ireland got the first penalty corner after a stick checked by Du Talake inside the striking area, but Wang Caiyu anticipated well to block the ball from slipping through his legs. Ireland wasted another chance after a good circle entry from the right side before going into half-time.
In the 43rd minute, against all expectations, China scored the first goal of the match as Du Talake passed the ball to Guo Jin, who smashed it into the right top corner to put his team in the lead. However, in the next minute, the Irish side replied immediately in the 44th minute with a close-range finish from Alan Sothern. The forward deflected the left-wing cross from Michael Robson into the net.
In the final quarter, China had a spell of possession on the ball but was unable to create chances. As Ireland desperately scrambled for a winning goal in the final two minutes, China thwarted their chances and managed to hold on to a 1-1 draw.
With the current standings, Ireland and China will meet England and Australia respectively in their last Pool B encounter on December 7.