Hockey World Cup 2018 highlights: China 1-1 Ireland

Hockey World Cup 2018: Ireland vs China: China scored through Guo Jin in the 43rd minute but Alan Sothern equalised for Ireland immediately to end the match 1-1 at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

Ireland's Shane O'Donoghue was a livewire against Australia in the opening match and will once again be the key against China.   -  Getty Images

Welcome to Sportstar's minute-by-minute commentary of the Hockey World Cup 2018 Pool B match of Ireland vs China.

 

FULL-TIME: Ireland 1-1 China

Fourth Quarter

60' Ireland desperately scrambles for a winner in the final two minutes, but China manages to hold on.

57' Shane O'Donoghue wins a corner for Ireland. Ireland switches to second battery, but Chinese goalkeeper Wang Caiyu stands rooted in his spot and blocks the shot.

55' Both teams seem to be content with the parity as not many chances are being created at either end.

54' Matthew Nelson goes on a solo run down the left and tries to get to the baseline, but Meng Dihao makes an timely tackle to clear the danger.

51' China has spell of possession on the ball, but is unable to create anything out of it. With the current standings, Ireland and China will go to the cross-overs with Pool A opponents, while England is bottom of the table after the loss against Australia.

48' Eugene Magee makes a superb run from the right side and passes towards the far post, but nothing comes off it as there was one to pick up the pass.

46' China has the numerical advantage as Jonathan Bell gets a yellow card at the end of Q3 and will be out play for majority of Q4.

Third Quarter

44' GOAL IRELAND! That goal from China seems to waken up the Green Machine who replies immediately with a close-range finish from Alan Sothern. The forward deflects the left wing cross from Michael Robson into the net.

43' GOAL CHINA! Against all expectations the World Cup debutant take the lead through Guo Jin. China goes for a variation as Du Talake passes to Jin at second battery, who smashes it into the right to corner to put his team in the lead.

41' Alan Sothern takes a shot at the goal on the run with his back to the goal .

38' Jonathan Bell seemed to have broken the deadlock with a deflection from close range, but the umpire blows the whistle for dangerous play inside the penalty area.

37' China has increased its possession to 41% and is looking a genuine threat on the counter. Meanwhile, Ireland, after testing defending champion Australia in the first match, has let its profligacy define today's performance.

Trivia: China's penalty corner specialist Du Talake has been its top scorer in the Hockey World League Round 2 and Asia Cup in 2017.

31' Stuart Loughery's rushed tackle inside the penalty area gifts a corner to China, its first of the match. But the experienced David Harte makes an easy save to keep out Du Talake's dragflick.

HALF-TIME: Ireland 0-0 China

 

Second Quarter

30' Chris Cargo flashes across the goalmouth from the left, but his reverse hit is not picked up by any attacker inside the penalty area.

27' Ireland wastes another chance after a good circle entry from the right side. The Green Machine's wastefulness is evident as it has made 14 circle entries to China's 3, but no goals to show for.

23' Ireland in the lead and not! Shane O'Donoughe unleashes a reverse stick at the near post and celebrates his goal, but the umpire tells Ireland that it's wide and replays show that there was Chinese stick clearance inside the area and the ball slipped into the net after hitting the support beam which is outside the area of play.

19' Ireland gets the first penalty corner of the match after a stick check by Du Talake inside the D area. But Shane O'Donoghue's dragflick, but Wang Caiyu anticipates well and fold his left leg to block the ball from slipping through his legs.

17' Jun Su enters the circle from the right, but Shane O' Donoghue dispossesses him to avert the danger.

16' There has been no penalty corner for Ireland so far, which shows how disciplined the Chinese defence has been so far.

Trivia: China has only one player in its squad with more than 100 international caps - Weibao Ao.  Xiaoping Guo (57) and Talake Du (57) are the highest capped Chinese player after him.

First Quarter

15' The first quarter ends with Matthew Nelson going close but his reverse hit hits the woodwork.

13' Alan Sothern makes a 360 degree turn and unleashes a reverse stick at the far post, which flies safely over the bar.

12' Talake Du does well to clear the ball inside the circle for China, which is looking organised in the second fourth of the pitch.

10' Ireland finds its rhythm and floods forward to enter the circle from the right side.

6' Wenlong E sends in another cross from the right wing and finds Nan Meng in the centre. Ireland's defence allows the forward too much time on the copy who draws a save out of David Harte.

4' China takes the attacking initiative as Suozhu Ao puts a right-winged cross into the cricle, but Ireland manages to clear the danger.

Head-to-Head Record: Total: 2 | Ireland: 2 | China: 0, Alan Sothern of Ireland scored a hattrick when these two sides met previously.

1' We are underway for the second Pool B match of the day.

How they qualified

Ireland

World Ranking: 10

Ireland playing its first World Cup after 28 years, qualified for the 2018 World Cup by finishing 5th at the Hockey World League Semi-final in Johannesburg above New Zealand, France, Egypt and South Africa.

 

China

World Ranking: 17

The second least ranked team in the 2018 World Cup, China qualified by finishing 8th at the World Hockey League Semi-Final in London to make its first appearance in showpiece tournament.