Hockey: Korea qualifies for London Olympic by defeating Ireland
-DR. ABDUL RUFF
On March 18, Korea has secured its place in 2012 London Olu ympics by defeating 3-2 a highly motivated Ireland, endng its dream of playng in Olympics for the first time. Ireland and Korea play in the final game of the tournament to determine which team to earn the berth to the London Olympic Games in a winner-takes-all meeting. Malaysia got third place after playng against Russia.in a winner-takes-all meeting. Malaysia got third place after playng against Russia.
Before, Malaysia and Ireland battled it out in front of a sell-out crowd for a spot in the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London final and left nothing on the field as the 1-1 draw was enough to give Ireland a spot in the final against Korea.It took 60 minutes for Ireland to score, but it was certainly the team’s most important goal of the tournament and perhaps the entire season when John Jermyn put in the 1-1 goal on a penalty corner flick. The marker ended nearly an entire game of frustration that saw the Malaysians thwart nearly double-digit penalty corner chances for the Irish.
Earleir, Korea secured its spot in final after cruising to a 5-1 win against Russia in the final day of round robin action at the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London tournament. The game was a mere formality for the sixth-ranked team in the world, which made easy work of #20 Russians. A pair of goals coming less than a minute apart in the first 12 minutes of play set the tone for the Koreans. Hyo Sik You put in a top shelf goal and Jong Hyun Jang easily converted the penalty corner for the early lead. Korea put in a last field goal to take a 3-0 lead into the break. The Koreans continued to dominate play in the second half. Jong Ho Seo scored a field goal from the center of the circle nine minutes into action and Jan followed up with his second penalty corner of the game as Korea jumped out to a convincing 5-0 lead. Russia countered with a penalty corner of its own to get on the board and produce the biggest cheer from the crowd of the morning, but the goal did little to change the outcome as Korea went on to the four-goal win.
It doesn’t get any more dramatic in the Goldmedla game. Lee’s goal was the dramatic conclusion to a nail-biting, back-and-forth affair where both teams were fighting for their lives. With two seconds left in final game at the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London Tournament Korea’s Nam Yong Lee put in the game winning goal, sending his team to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
It looked like the game was heading into overtime when the clock was stopped with nine seconds left deep on the Irish end. The pressure was on the Koreans as they entered the both the game and the tournament as the big favorite, holding the sixth spot in the FIH World Ranking compared with Ireland’s #16 ranking. But the Irish have proven to be.
The tough opponent Ireland boys burst into crying. So pathetic. In fact they are no match for the last one goal by the Koreans. What a shot and none could stop the ball form getting into the goal net.
Unlike many other merely friendly competitions where the teams just played for fun like the one between France and India that was played in New Delhi a bit seriously though but to help the Indians in this case, the Korea-Ireland contest was very serious one, even breathtaking at a few points. Ireland firmly denied chances for Korea, but Korans were more forceful.
Korea as 11th team can now look forward to joining the 10 teams already qualified to the London Games to begin games in July. .
د. عبد راف
Dr. Abdul Ruff, Specialist on State Terrorism; Educationalist;Chancellor-