Green Army Beat Chile In 3 Nations Opener
3 Nations, Dublin
Ireland 1 (Beatty)
Ireland were the far livelier of the two in the opening half and could have taken the lead on more than one occasion. The ever-threatening Anna O’Flanagan picked up a long pass from Hannah Matthews but her reverse strike went across goal. Megan Frazer, playing her first senior international test in nearly 2 years, looked as sharp as ever as she sent passes through the eye of a needle and proved a potent threat with Zoe Wilson. Katie Mullan, earning her 150thcap this evening, was leading the charge as usual and won numerous long corners setting up attacks into the Chilean circle. Naomi Carroll drew a super save from Claudia Schuler as she deflected a ball in front of goal, Carroll was again on hand with some superb 3D skill to pick up a ball in the circle and fire a reverse volley. Each team won 1 penalty corner in the opening half; McCay’s sweep going wide for Ireland and Elene Tice making a save on the line from Carolina’s Garcia’s close range shot on the post at the other end.
The goal very nearly came in the opening minutes of the second half when O’Flanagan burst into the circle and sent a reverse strike goalward but Evans deflection put it inches past the post. 2 PC’s in quick succession for the Green Army looked likely to break the deadlock but Schuler again made a good save and Wilson’s strike was sent wide. Mullan was next to test the Chilean defense as she sent her reverse shot into the side netting. The goal came in the 43rdminute as Matthews sent a pinpoint reverse into the circle and Emily Beatty deflected the ball high into the net to give her side the lead. Grace O’Flanagan didn’t have a huge amount to do throughout but when called upon she made a superb diving save from a PC strike. The Green Army could well have extended their lead with the skills of Nicci Daly breaking open the Chilean backline but Schuler made 2 further saves from Evans close range effort.
Ireland’s next match is on Saturday at 2pm against Italy in Pembroke.
Starting: G O’Flanagan, N Evans, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, E Tice, G Pinder, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson
Subs: Y O’Byrne, M Frazer, N Carroll, E Beatty, A McFerran, C Watkins, A Meeke