The Green Machine suffered a second defeat in two days when they fell 3-0 to Japan in Champions Challenge 1 today in Quilmes, Argentina
Ireland Coach, Andrew Meredith made two changes to his starting XI for today’s clash with Japan with Green Machine goal scorers from Saturday, John Jermyn & Timothy Cockram being replaced in the line-up by Eugene Magee and Michael Watt who also notched Ireland’s third goal at the death of yesterday’s 4-3 loss to Argentina.
Ireland started the brighter of the two sides with Cargo & Cockram going close for Ireland in the early exchanges. However in the 18th minute, Japan took the lead against the run of play when Kazuhiro Tsubouchi converted a penalty corner. This didn’t deter the Irish however who forced five penalty corners in all, in the first half and saw each saved well by an inspired Japanese Keeper.
Into the second half, Ireland continued where they had left off by creating a number of chances in front of goal which again they couldn’t convert into scores. Despite the mounting pressure on the Japanese goal from the Green Machine, Ireland once again where undone against the run of play when a quick break in the 53rd minute gave Japan their second goal, as Tomonori Ono charged into the circle and put the ball into the boards. Ireland continued to go forward in an effort to get back into the game but Japan finally sealed the game 6 minutes from time when they once again countered brilliantly, finishing off a move that included great combination play and resulted in Shinji Kawauchi slapping the ball in from close range.
Overall, the score line didn’t reflect the number of chances and penalty corners that Ireland had created and on another day, the Green Machine may have taken more from the game.
The defeat leaves the Green Machine bottom of Pool B this evening. Ireland’s final Pool B game will take place on Tuesday at 4:30pm GMT vs South Africa.