Sarah Hawkshaw was ‘thrilled’, After Ireland defeated South Africa
Ireland recovered from their World Cup group stage elimination with goals from Sarah Hawkshaw and Róisn Upton on penalty corners to put themselves in the running for a ninth-place overall finish.
With this victory, they will also complete the competition with a higher position than their pre-event rating and will now face China in a playoff for ninth place overall.
Following our elimination from the group stages, we are happy,” stated Sarah Hawkshaw.
“While we have provided some strong performances—about which we have talked a lot—it is time we also came out on top. Of course, it’s difficult to forget about the group stages. We had to restart since we fell short of our first objective.
Sean Dancer expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance and believes that his youthful team will benefit from having an additional round of classification games.
The difficulty about the second half of the competition is that we cannot change the first half of the competition at this time. We have a lot to play for, not just in terms of ranking points but also in terms of our team and where we want to go.
“This game was crucial for our performance, the outcome, as well as the manner we played. I was pleased with how we achieved it, and Tuesday won’t be any different. The focus will be on how we play for the team.
The Green Army made an early impression that they were the more rested team, having had three days to recover from their group stage departure whereas South Africa had played less than 24 hours earlier in a crossover match.
Phumelela Mbande, an excellent goalkeeper, had to make a number of significant stops before halftime, including one from Katie Mullan in the fourth minute.
In the first quarter, Tarryn Lombard was given two cautions and Lisa-Marie Deetlefs received a two-minute timeout, resulting in three sin-binnings for South Africa.
And it helped the Green Army spend the lion’s share of the tie on the offensive. The number of penalty corner opportunities also increased as the second quarter progressed, with Katie McKee, Caoimhe Perdue, and the tenacious Zara Malseed leading the charge.
The following opportunity, Sarah Hawkshaw
Since McKee’s injection from the third set-piece was accurate, Hannah McLoughlin had time to provide the ideal pass for Hawkshaw to dive onto and score on. Prior to the major break, there were no more goals scored. Sarah Torrans swept the following opportunity onto the outside of the post.
Soon after the break, Torrans was back at it, snatching the South African tip-off and ultimately gaining a corner. Upton took a direct shot this time, hitting the bottom left of the backboard for a score of 2-0 with a drag-flick.
Despite having a steep mountain to climb, the African team began to gain momentum as the third quarter went on, especially after Hawkshaw and Deirdre Duke both served time in the sin-bin at the same time.
The greatest result was a soaring shot by Lilian du Plessis that went into the side-netting. But they discovered an Irish defence that was working hard to contain the threat, led by Sarah McAuley and Hannah McLoughlin.
Four chances at penalty corners in the fourth quarter were missed in an effort to secure the outcome, but it was pointless because Ireland hung on to win.
On Tuesday at 1.30 p.m. (Irish time), they will face China in Amsterdam, with the winner moving up to ninth overall and the loser to eleventh. If Ireland wins, they may move back up to the top 12 in the standings.
A. McFerran, M. Carey, R. Upton, S. Hawkshaw, K. Mullan, H. McLoughlin, S. Torrans, L. Tice, N. Carroll, C. Perdue, and E. Curran are from Ireland.
Replacements: S. McAuley, Z. Malseed, C. Beggs, K. McKee, D. Duke, C. Hamill, and L. Murphy
P. Mbande, K. Paton, O. Zulu, L.-M. Deetlefs, E. Christie, L. du Plessis, B. Coston, Q. Bobbs, and T. Lombard are all from South Africa. J. L. du Toit and H. Louw
E. Molikoe, R. Johnson, H. Pearce, M. Ramasimong, S.-L. Simmons, K. de Waal, and M. Serage are the substitutes.
Officials: A Neumann and I Presenqui (ARG) (AUS)