IRL Men overcome by clinical Argentina despite dominating possession.



May 23, Belgium: Fresh from their opening day 2-1 win over Belgium it was a very confident Ireland that took on Argentina in Antwerp in the second FIH Pro League game in Antwerp. Mark Tumilty’s men, showing  six  changes from the starting team in yesterday’s game, had the opportunity to build on that historic first FIH Pro League win and gain some more points.

Argentina began brightly but it was very even early on in the first stages. Ben Walker had an early chance in the first minute but he was unable to find a green shirt in the Argentina semi-circle. Jaime Carr was called into action in the 4th minute and made a save from Nicholas Keenan. In the 8th minute Argentina got the first penalty corner of the match. Tomas Domene’s shot secured another penalty corner.

Jaime Carr saved a shot from Tomas Domene from the second penalty corner and Ireland weathered the storm. Argentina were reduced to 10 players in the 9th minute when Lucas Toscani was green carded. Ireland were unable to capitalise despite the best efforts of Daragh Walsh who won a penalty corner from an incursion by Ben Walker.

Neither goalkeeper was too bothered but Jamie Carr would have been the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first quarter.

Tomas Santiago made his first save of the match in the 2nd quarter from John McKee but Ireland were awarded a penalty corner. Argentina referred it to the video umpire, feeling the ball was raised to a dangerous height, and it was overturned.

Argentina were awarded another penalty corner which produced a brilliant glove save by Jaime Carr and Lee Cole swept the rebound away from the goal. In the 26th minute Bautista Capurro had a shot saved yet again by Carr.

Just as it looked like Ireland might hang on at 0-0 at half-time, Argentina took the lead with 20 seconds left on the clock. A misplaced pass out of the back gave Lucas Martinez the opportunity to shoot on his reverse stick side. His effort flew over the shoulder of Carr and into the net off the crossbar. So it was 1-0 to Argentina in a half that Ireland dominated possession.

Third quarter was similar to the first in that Ireland enjoyed a lot of possession but it was Argentina who scored in the 40th minute. A long pass out of their own half bypassed three Ireland defenders and found Bautista Capurro who hit the ball into the off the inside leg of Jamie Carr in the lrish goal. 

In the 47th minute Argentina increased their lead even further on the counter attack. Bautista Capurro combined with Maico Caselo and then finished to make it 3-0 to Argentina.

Tomas Santiago saved well to prevent Ireland getting on the scoresheet. But that goal did eventually come in the 50th minute. After a series of penalty corner re-awards Luke Madeley found the bottom corner with a powerful drag-flick and it was now Argentina 3 Ireland 1. But there was no further scoring in the match and Ireland finished on the wrong side of this result at the FIH Pro League.


Speaking after the match Ireland’s head coach Mark Tumilty said:

“We Struggled against their defensive shape today. It’s something we need to address before the second game against them on Saturday. 

We could have been a bit more urgent on the ball. We had a lot more possession today but created fewer chances than yesterday. I think we are making progress. That goal before half-time was a killer. That’s the lesson we need to learn at this level. We should have seen out the half and gone in scoreless.”


IRELAND :- Jamie Carr (GK); Luke Madeley ; Kyle Marshall ; John McKee; Mark Mc Nellis;  Peter McKibbin; Sean Murray (C) ; Daragh Walsh; Ben Walker ; Peter Brown ; Jeremy Duncan:SUBS USED:- Mark Ingram (GK)[   mins] ; Tim Cross ,[ 4 mins]  ; Nicholas Page [  4mins] ,Lee Cole [7 mins]; Jonathan Lynch [7 mins]  Alistair Empey [ mins]  Ben Johnson [7 mins]

ARGENTINA ; – Thomas Santiago ;Juan Catan ; Matto  Fernandez; Maico Casela ; Lucas Toscani ; Nicolas De La Torre; Federico Monja; Matias Rey ; Agustin Mazzilli  ; Thomas  Habif  ; Bautista  Capurro;

SUBS USED ;  Nicholas Keenan [ 5 mins] ; Santiago Tarazona [ 4 mins] ; Lucas Martinez [ 6 mins] ; Tadeo Marcucci [ 6 mins]; Tomas Ruiz [ 5 mins]