Defending champions Australia registered a convincing 2-1 victory over Ireland in their first Pool B match of the ongoing 14th edition of the Men's Hockey World Cup here at the Kalinga Stadium on Friday.
Australia, who are one of the favorites to win this prestigious tournament, were expected to play a dominant game with the lower ranked Ireland and so they did. In the very first minute of the match, Australian players were inside the Ireland D but the Irish defenders did a good job to deflate the attack.
The world number side continued to attack the Irish goal post and all their attempts reaped fruit in the eleventh minute of the match when they got their first penalty corner. Their forward player Blake Govers made a stunning strike to score the first goal for his side.
After a couple of minutes, Ireland struck back as they scored an equalizer in the 13th minute of the match. Irish forward player Shane O'Donoghue pounced on to a pass from Eugene Magee and made hit a beautiful stroke with an absolute precision to make it 1-1 by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw an improved performance from the Irish players as they managed to keep Australia away from their D. In the 20th minute, Ireland got their first penalty corner of the match but it was saved perfectly by opposition goalkeeper Andrew Charter.
Australia raised the bar of the game with their strikers penetrating into the circle almost every minute. They successfully built the pressure on the Irish side but failed to take lead by the end of the second quarter.
A few minutes into the next quarter and Australia strike again. Attacking player Timothy Brand took a pass from Blake Govers and released it into the goal post. The Irish side gained a couple of chances, afterwards, to score an equalizer, but they could not convert the chances into goals.
It was 2-1 in the favour of Australia at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter did not bring any respite to Ireland either as they failed to create many scoring chances. With few more minutes to go into the match, Australia made sure to keep the ball in their possession. After the full time, Australia registered a comprehensive 2-1 victory against Ireland.
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