© FIHSports News
Date : 05 Dec 2018
Odisha, India, December 5, 2018: Debutants China recorded their second successive draw, this time against Ireland, to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the quarterfinals of the Men's Hockey World Cup.
China, making their first appearance in the World Cup, held on for a gritty 1-1 draw to remain in second position in Pool B behind favourites and two-time defending champions Australia, who have a maximum six points after wins over England and Ireland.
Guo Jin finished off a beautifully worked penalty corner routine with a glorious high finish that went in off the left post to give China a shock 1-0 lead in the third quarter. Incredibly, Ireland, down to 10 men, responded with Alan Sothern diving in to touch home a perfect backhand pass by Michael Robson.
China, who had drawn 2-2 with England in their opening game, held on grimly to force another draw and move into a good position of advancing in the 16-team tournament in Bhubaneswar.
The winners of each of the four pools move into the quarterfinals with the second and third-placed teams playing a crossover match to decide the other four teams.
China will meet Australia in their final match on Friday but even a loss could see them finish in the top three in the Pool as a win for either England or Ireland in the other game could see the Chinese through to the knockout stages.
“The result I am very satisfied with,” China head coach Kim Sang-ryul said. “We are still unbeaten, but our play is not good enough. Our mentality is that we are still trying to win every match. We will try to show our abilities against Australia.”
China is ranked 17th in the world while Ireland are 10th.
Meanwhile hosts India are on top of Pool C after a win and a draw in its opening two games. The other two Asian teams in the tournament, Malaysia and Pakistan remain without a win after losing to the Netherlands and Germany respectively.
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