IRELAND 8 UKRAINE 0
To put this game in context after day one here in Valencia, Spain, Ireland and Belgium were in second and third place in Pool A after the Koreans beat Ukraine 3-0 to lead the standings. So Ireland needed to win this game to challenge successfully for a top two place in the pool. Belgium taking on Korea in their second pool game found themselves in a similar situation.
Ireland started well forcing a long corner in the 3rd minute. Ukraine grew into the game as it wore on and had a number of circle entries. Eventually Ireland took the lead in the nineteenth minute and it came from a long run from deep by captain Katie Mullan who drove into the circle and shot towards goal. Sarah Torrans got a deflection past Fadieieva in the Ukraine goal to give Ireland the lead. Niamh Carey’s diving effort made it 2-0 in the twenty-seventh minute and Ireland led at the half-time break.
The third quarter was very productive for Ireland as Hannah McLaughlin scored from a penalty corner in the thirty-third minute and Deirdre Duke hit a great shot to the net from open play in the thirty-sixth minute to leave Ireland 4-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Ireland continued to find the net in the final quarter. Róisín Upton converted a penalty corner in the forty-seventh minute to make it 5-0. Beth Harper deflected a Hannah McLaughlin effort from a penalty corner in the forty ninth minute to make it 6-0. Sarah Torrans got her second of the match from open play a minute later to make it 7-0. Katie Mullan completed the scoring with a brilliant run and shot to make the final score Ireland 8 Ukraine 0.
Speaking after the match, Ireland head coach Sean Dancer said:
“We respect Ukraine and how they play as a team. It’s very different from what we are used to.”
“Scoring the goals today was very pleasing. It’s great when the conversion rate of scoring opportunities is high. Scoring goals is a key part of the game and it was very pleasing to see a number of different players get on the scoresheet”.
“The build up play for some of the goals was based on good attacking play and that was another pleasing aspect of today’s performance. Our set pieces and penalty corners worked well today too. But conceding zero goals too, is almost as important as scoring goals. We will watch Korea play Belgium and we are focusing now on getting ready for Korea.”
In the later match in Pool A Belgium must beat Korea now to keep their Olympic prospects alive so it’s a three horse race for those two semi-final berths in Pool A after this result for Ireland.
In Pool B Spain beat Great Britain on day two to lead the pool with two wins from two. Canada got back on track with a 3-0 win over Malaysia following their previous 0-2 defeat to Great Britain. Malaysia had their second defeat against Canada having lost 0-7 to Spain on the opening day of Pool B.
IRELAND: Liz Murphy (GK), Beth Harper, Róisín Upton, Sarah McAuley, Hannah Mc Loughlin, Sarah Hawkshaw, Katie Mullan (C), Charlotte Beggs, Katie Mc Kee, Naomi Carroll, Deirdre Duke
SUBS USED: Niamh Carey (4 mins), Chloe Watkins (4 mins), Sarah Torrans (5 mins), Michelle Carey (5mins),Ellen Curran ( 4 mins), Elena Neill (4 mins)
UKRAINE: Alina Fadieieva (GK), Yevheniia Moroz, Yevheniia Kernoz, Kateryna Shokalenko, Karyna Leonova, Anastasia Voievoda, Valeriia Zaitseva, Anastasiia Shyshyna, Kateryna Popova, Anna Tanchenko, Yana Vorushylo (C)
SUBS USED: Tetiana Stepanchenko (GK) (49 mins), Marharyta Mykhailiuk (24 mins), Veronika Movchan (5 mins), Maryna Khilko (7 mins), Valeriia Rudychenko (7 mins), Valeriia Tyshchenko (9 mins), Veronika Korobkina (24 mins)