Ireland 0 (3) vs. (1) 0 India
Match 32/Quarter Final
6.00 Push Back
Ireland come into this as underdogs, but I think that the Indians will struggle to get past goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran. Both sides have had a tendency to sit deep and counter attack in previous games, let’s see how the game plans change for this game. It is very hot today, and this might have an affect on the outcome.
India gets us underway, but immediately send the ball off the pitch. From the resulting sideline phase, Ireland work a circle entry and then a long corner, but are unable to get a shot off. They recycle the ball, holding possession. The Irish have been better in the opening stages, winning more long corners and having more circle entries than their opponents. In the eleventh minute, Nicola Evans gets a thwack and stays down for a minute. She looks to limp it off.
With a little over two minutes to go, I’m looking at Ireland’s players on the side of the pitch and they looks like she’s suffering with the heat. I’m wondering how the Irish team in general will be able to keep up their high energy levels throughout the game, in this heat. Are the Indians letting their opponents be high energy, in order to get an advantage later on in the game, but at the end of the first quarter the score is 0 – 0.
In the second period Ireland have started to make silly mistakes; poor passes, bad traps and India start to edge up the pitch. But on six minutes Navneet Kaur is shown a green card and this seems to spur Ireland on. They win the ball high in India’s half and Deirdre Duke plays the ball into the circle, but her team mates aren’t on the same wavelength and nobody is there. On eight minutes there is a centred ball played towards the Indian goal and Anna O’Flanagan is there, but her shot is smothered by Savita and India get the ball back again. At the half time break, the Irish would be winning this on points, if it was a boxing match, and the Indians are soaking it up, and will probably look for the killer punch as the game goes on.
The game seems slower in the second half. The Indians are looking to slow the ball down whenever they have it. India look to counter attack with a bit more regularity in this quarter and are finding space in the midfield to do so. Although, they aren’t committing too many players forward as of yet. After 45 minutes, we have no goals and not one short corner.
In the fourth minute of the final quarter the Indians play the ball into the circle. Hannah Matthews is doing a bit of front marking, but doesn’t get a good touch on the interception and it goes through her legs. India immediately refer for a foot and it’s given. This is the first short corner of the game. Rani shoots, McFerran planks and saves it. The Irish immediately clear the ball.
India are coming further forward now and look vulnerable to the counter attack. Deirdre Duke nearly creates an opportunity, but struggles to find a good angle. In the ninth minute Vendana Katariya feels that she got a pushed in the back and immediately signals for a foul, but the video umpire doesn’t agree with her and she losses the right to appeal for her team. With three and a half minutes remaining Udita gets a green card for hitting the ball away. The game ends 0 – 0 and we go to a shoot out.
Ireland take the first of the penalty shuffles. Nicola Daly steps up, she goes to the keeper’s left, but Savita stretches and pushes it away. India’s captain Rani is to take the first for her country, but she can’t score and it’s zero from one for both teams.
Up next it’s Anna O’Flanagan for the Green Army. She looks to spin the keeper. Savita goes for the save, but is seen to have fouled O Flanagan and a stroke is awarded. This is referred; was it a stick tackle, or not? The tackle was clean and it’s zero from two for Ireland. Monika looks to put her team into the lead. McFerran does enough o put her off and it goes wide of the post. Neither team can score.
Roisin Upton looks to break the deadlocked and she does. It’s the first out of three attempts for Ireland and they take the lead. Navjot Kaur will want to equalise here for India. She looks to spin the keeper but McFerran blocks it out.
It’s Alison Meeke for Ireland and she scores, giving her team a two point advantage. Reena Khokhar now needs to score in order to keep her team in the World Cup. She does and India are still in it, sending the ball to McFerran’s left.
Chlow Watkins has the chance to book an historic place in the place in the semi finals. She spins the keeper and sends her team through and we have unbelievable scenes. There has been a referral, looking for a time infringement, but the video shows that there was half of a second left as the ball crossed the line. The Irish fans go mad and they are through.