Korea defeated Ireland 2-1 in the semi-final of the Pahang Champions Challenge 1 at Kuantan, Malaysia, while Canada edged past the hosts Malaysia in an exciting shoot-out to set-up the summit clash.
Final match between Canada and Korea will be played 2130 (Local time/MYT), as Ireland take on hosts Malaysia in the Bronze Medal match at 1915 (Local Time) i.e 1215 Irish time on Sunday (May 4th). Poland will take on Japan for 7th place and New Zealand face France for 5th place.
Ireland trailed early on when Korea converted on the drag flick thanks to Jang Jong Hyun’s handiwork in just the 3rd minute. Ireland had a great equalising opportunity in the 15th minute when their initial goal ward bound shot secured them a penalty corner but the strong Korean defence was up to the task.
Ireland’s defense were tested at times in the 31st minute keeper David Harte had to work hard to keep another goal out, but the hooter sounded signalling half time Ireland trailing just 1 goal behind.
After the break Korea almost doubled their lead in the 47th minute but great Irish defending plucked the ball off the line to relieve the pressure. Korea took it to 2-0 in the 53rd minute Hyun Sung the converter this time and although Ireland pulled one back thanks to Chris Cargo’s efforts in the 63rd minute the clock ticked on and Ireland couldn’t pull an equaliser out of the bag in time.
In a rematch of their pool game earlier at the tournament, the Black Sticks were in control from start to finish in searing heat climbing above 40 degrees Celsius. The Kiwis led 5-0 at halftime thanks to doubles from Andy Hayward and Phil Burrows, while Arun Panchia and Simon Child also got onto the score sheet.
Southern defender Blair Tarrant played his 100th test for New Zealand in victory. Head coach Colin Batch said it was a good result from his players given the extremely tough conditions.
“It was yet another game for us playing in temperatures over 40 degrees which our guys coped with brilliantly. We were up 5-0 at halftime so our plan was to play smartly in the second half to try and conserve some energy for the wellbeing of the players. Tomorrow we will be looking to finish on a positive note before heading home to complete our build up for the World Cup,” he said.