Ireland defeated by Egypt in FIH Series Finals pool match

John Jackson in action today at the FIH Series Finals in Le Touquet, against Egypt
John Jackson in action today at the FIH Series Finals in Le Touquet, against Egypt

After a solid performance against Scotland in their opening game, the Irish men had hoped to build on that performance against Egypt in their second match of the World Series Finals.

The first quarter saw Ireland dominate possession with the stubborn Egyptian defence frustrating the Irish attack until the 13th minute when Ireland won their first penalty corner through Ben Walker.

The resulting drag flick was saved, and the sides remained level at the end of the first quarter.

Egypt began the second quarter brightly with some good attacking play but it was Ireland who took the lead after 19 minutes when Shane O’Donoghue’s reverse side shot was deflected in by John Jackson after Ireland’s second corner broke down.

However, Egypt were back on level terms just four minutes later when Mohamed Adel beat the Irish penalty corner defence with a drag flick. Egypt forced another corner in the 27th minute which was saved leaving the sides level at half time 1-1.

Ireland began the third quarter well and created a good chance in the 34th minute when Shane O’Donoghue’s reverse side cross was narrowly deflected wide.

Both sides traded attacking opportunities and Egypt won a penalty corner two minutes before the end of the quarter which was saved by the David Harte leaving the score 1-1 with 15 minutes to go.

In the 48th minute, Egypt took the lead through Ahmed Abd Elkahim when a free outside the Irish circle was taken quickly and the Egyptian beat several Irish defenders to slip the ball past Harte.

Ireland increased the pressure on Egypt in the remaining 10 minutes in search of an -equaliser winning a penalty corner in the 51st minute.

O’Donoghue’s flick was saved by Sayed in the Egyptian goal before the rebound was hit wide. Ireland had a further opportunity in the 56th minute with another penalty corner but the ball was not stopped properly and Egypt were able to defend the resulting shot.

After the game, Ireland head coach Alexander Cox said: “We didn’t show up in the first half and that can’t happen.

"We improved in the second half and tried everything to break them. We had enough chances to score more than one, but we didn’t. Credit to Egypt.

"We’re massively disappointed but we are still in the tournament.”

Ireland’s final pool game is on Tuesday at 14.45 when they take on Singapore.

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B walker, D Walsh, C Harte, L Cole, S Cole
Subs: J Carr, M Bell, L Madeley, N Glassey, M Robson, P Gleghorne

Egypt: M Sayed, M Edris, M Mansour, A Ibrahim, A Ezz, A Sayed, A Said, A Abd Elhakim, M Ragab, A Elganaini, M Adel

Subs: K Atef, A Gamal, A Mohsen, M Ragab, A Elhady, W Metwalli.