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Hockey: Ireland look to Harte

Goalkeeper Davy Harte is set to be the key player as Ireland seek to extend their unbeaten run at the Electric Ireland Olympic qualifying competition in Belfield this evening (6.0).

The classy netman was largely a spectator during overwhelming weekend wins against Russia (6-1) and Ukraine (12-0).

But world sixth-ranked Korea represent a considerable step up in class, boasting a penalty corner routine that will test the Ballinspittle man.

Harte will need to be at his best to hold Jong Hyung Kim and Nam Hyun Woo at bay from the set-pieces in a match that has been sold out in advance.

Korea also have a tricky forward line to keep the Dutch-based former Cork Harlequins and Pembroke Wanderers man on his toes.

A win for Ireland would practically guarantee them a spot in Sunday's final once they follow up with a win on Thursday against Chile, who have yet to win a point.

Paul Revington's side have been scoring goals for fun, bubbling with confidence as eight different players have found the net so far. And, despite their lofty ranking, the Koreans hold no fear for the Irish who beat them 5-1 at a tournament in Paris last summer.

The likelihood of Ireland repeating such a lopsided scoreline is remote, but they are certainly capable of taking the spoils and moving one giant step closer to London.

Irish Independent