Andrew Meredith’s tenure as Ireland men’s senior coach got off to a difficult start over the weekend in Quilmes, Argentina. Ireland lost to the host nation on Saturday and Japan yesterday, and look set for a tough quarter-final next Thursday.
Against Japan, Ireland had the vast majority of possession but were hit by quick counter-attacks ultimately losing 3-0 to goals from Kazuhiro Tsubouchi, Tomonori Ono and Shinji Kawauchi.
It compounded Saturday’s loss to Argentina, one in which Ireland let slip a 2-0 lead inside the first 25 minutes to fall 4-3.
The results increase the possibility of facing one of the fancied sides in the competition, namely Malaysia, coached by ex-Ireland coach Paul Revington, and Korea. Their final pool game is a tie with South Africa tomorrow to close out the initial phase of the competition.
ChaNote: Champions Chalenge 1
Champions Challenge 1 in Argentina from November 24th – December 2nd 2012. The FIH ranking event in Quilmes will give the competing teams an opportunity to gain vital world ranking points while the winner’s will automatically qualify for the next edition of Men’s Champions Trophy.
Three of the eight teams competing in this tournament were involved in the Olympics in London earlier this summer, South Africa, Korea and Argentina. The tournament is comprised of two pools of four before progressing to a quarter finals play off stage. Pool A sees top seeds Korea compete against Canada, Malaysia and Poland while Pool B sees Ireland go up against top seeds Argentina, South Africa and Japan.