Saturday 20 January 2018

Hockey: Muller exasperated by listless Irish display

Ireland 0
Malaysia 3
Women's Hockey Wc Qualifier

A sub-par Irish performance saw their outside hopes of World Cup qualification all but evaporate at the first hurdle as they were out-fought and out-thought at every turn by Malaysia in Santiago yesterday.

It means they must record consecutive wins over Scotland, hosts Chile and world No 6 side Australia in the next four days to have any hope of reaching Argentina in August. They weathered an early storm, Mary Goode and her defence keeping out a string of first-half penalty corners.

A series of crash balls also cut open the defence on three occasions, but parity remained at half-time. However, when Norbiani Hashim netted a rebound from the Malaysians' seventh corner of the game, Ireland had little in the tank to respond.

Rabiatul Mohamad clipped in a superb second in the 47th minute when a huge swathe of space opened up down the right wing.

And the rout was complete when Norazlin Sumantri was left all alone in the circle to calmly beat Goode with minutes to go.

Afterwards, Gene Muller said only three of the 16 players used performed to their full potential on the day and, while he was loath to use his side's short acclimatisation time in the wake of the volcanic ash -- which delayed his side's arrival in South America -- he did suggest the listless performance was "no accident".

Ireland -- M Goode, C Sargent, E Cregan, E Clarke, B Cleland, A Speers, M Frazer, N Symmons, A O'Flynn, E Smyth, L Colvin. Subs: M Harvey, R Flinn, S McCay, L Jacob, J O'Halloran.

Irish Independent

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