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Poland break Irish hearts in Dublin
12 Jul 2009 20:16
 

© FIH / Vino John

Men’s Champions Challenge II – Day 5: Poland have become the first ever winners of the men’s Champions Challenge II thanks to a nail-biting 5-4 penalty strokes victory over Ireland. It was a heartbreaking defeat for the host nation, who virtually had their hands on the silverware thanks to a narrow 3-2 lead that they held from the 57th minute until the final seconds of normal time. However, Marcin STRYKOWSKI scored with just seconds of the match remaining to force Extra Time, before Poland edged a finely-balanced Penalty Stroke competition to win the title and claim promotion to the 2011 Champions Challenge I tournament.

Ireland dominated the early stages of the Final and deservedly worked their way into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes. Michael WATT hit the target with a field goal after just four minutes of play, and twelve minutes later John JERMYN powered a penalty corner effort into the net to register his seventh goal of the tournament. Ireland held the lead until half time, but Poland pulled a goal back four minutes after the break when Marcin STRYKOWSKI found a way past Ireland’s impressive goalkeeper David HARTE. Ireland re-established their two goal lead in the 50th minute when WATT struck again, and it looked as if Ireland were on course for a dream Champions Challenge II win on home soil. Poland reduced the deficit in the 57th minute thanks to a cool finish from midfielder Dariusz RACHWALSKI, setting up a heart-stopping final 13 minutes which saw a number of wasted opportunities at both ends of the field. Ireland were less than 20 seconds away from victory when Poland’s STRYKOWSKI equalised following a free hit on the edge of the Irish circle. Ireland were devastated, but re-grouped and were arguably the better team in Extra Time and almost won the match when David HOBBS hit the frame of the goal with a smart shot from an acute angle. It was the closest either side came to finding a winner, meaning that the match would be settled by an agonising Penalty Stroke contest. With the Penalty Stroke competition locked at 4-4, Sudden Death was brought into play. Poland captain Tomasz DUTKIEWICZ put the Irish players under pressure by scoring the first Sudden Death penalty stroke, only for Ireland's Stephen BUTLER to send his effort wide of the target to give Poland victory in the most dramatic of circumstances.

It was a double celebration for Poland captain DUTKIEWICZ, with the powerful defender being named as the Player of the Tournament. A devastated Irish team received some consolation, with penalty corner expert John JERMYN finishing as the tournament’s Top Goal Scorer.

The tournament Final was preceded by the Play-Off for 3rd Place, which was a thrilling encounter between France and Malaysia. The two teams shrugged off the disappointment of defeat in Saturday’s Semi Finals, giving everything in a bid to leave Dublin with as high a finish as possible. France raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Martin GENESTET and Frederic SOYEZ, before Hafifi Hafiz HANAFI pulled a goal back just before half time. Sebastien JEAN-JEAN moved France into a 3-1 lead, but the Malaysians were not prepared to accept defeat and produced goals from Selvaraju SANDRAKASI and Muhammad Razie ABD. RAHIM, forcing the game into Extra Time. However, France were not to be denied, and confirmed their third place finish thanks to Frederic SOYEZ who fired in a Golden Goal with his second penalty corner of the day, and definitely his most important score of the week.

Earlier in the day, Japan secured 5th place with a crushing 9-2 victory over Russia, which saw the Asians fight back from 2-1 down to score eight times without reply in the second half. The early morning match to decide the 7th and 8th places was contested between Austria and Chile, with the Europeans emerging as 4-2 winners.
 
You can find pool tables and official match sheets on the Champions Challenge II page of this website. To visit this page, click here.    


Men’s Champions Challenge II, Dublin. Day 5 - Scores and Scorers

Match 17 – 7-8 – Austria v Chile 4-2 (3-1)
1-0 AUT Michael KÖRPER PC 9m
1-1 CHI Jan RICHTER PC 11m
2-1 AUT Manuel GRANDITS FG 17m
3-1 AUT Benjamin STANZL FG 28m
4-1 AUT Tobias HÜBNER FG 39m
4-2 CHI Esteban KRAINZ PC 47m

Match 18 – 5-6 – Japan v Russia 9-2 (1-2)
1-0 JPN Yoshihiro ANAI PC 6m
1-1 RUS Alexandre PLATONOV FG 19m
1-2 RUS Dmitry AZAROV PC 22m
2-2 JPN Katsuyoshi NAGASAWA PC 41m
3-2 JPN Hiroki WATANABE FG 45m
4-2 JPN Katsuyoshi NAGASAWA PC 49m
5-2 JPN Kazuhiro TSUBOUCHI PC 55m
6-2 JPN Ryuji FURUSATO FG 59m
7-2 JPN Tomonori ONO FG 62m
8-2 JPN Yoshihiro ANAI PC 64m
9-2 JPN Yoshihiro ANAI FG 69m

Match 19 – 3-4 – France v Malaysia 4-3 AET (HT – 2-1)
1-0 FRA Martin GENESTET FG 16m
2-0 FRA Frederic SOYEZ PC 22m
2-1 MAS Hafifi Hafiz HANAFI FG 32m
3-1 FRA Sebastien JEAN-JEAN FG 44m
3-2 MAS Selvaraju SANDRAKASI FG 58m
3-3 MAS Muhammad Razie ABD. RAHIM FG 65m
4-3 FRA Frederic SOYEZ PC 77m (Golden Goal)

Match 20 – 1-2 – Poland v Ireland 5-4 APS (3-3 FT / 0-2 HT)
0-1 IRL Michael WATT FG 4m
0-2 IRL John JERMYN PC 16m
1-2 POL Marcin STRYKOWSKI FG 39m
1-3 IRL Michael WATT FG 50m
2-3 POL Dariusz RACHWALSKI FG 57m
3-3 POL Marcin STRYKOWSKI FG 70m

PENALTY STROKES - ROUND 1:
0-1 IRL Stephen BUTLER - SCORED
0-1 POL Tomasz DUTKIEWICZ - MISSED
0-2 IRL John JERMYN - SCORED
1-2 POL Dariusz RACHWALSKI  - SCORED
1-2 IRL Joe BRENNAN - MISSED
2-2 POL Szymon HUTEK - SCORED
2-3 IRL Timothy COCKRAM - SCORED
3-3 POL Tomasz GÓRNY - SCORED
3-4 IRL Ronan GORMLEY (C) - SCORED
4-4 POL Maciej JANISZEWSKI - SCORED

ROUND 2 (Sudden death):
5-4 POL Tomasz DUTKIEWICZ (C) SCORED
5-4 IRL Stephen BUTLER - MISSED
 

Final Ranking
1: POLAND
2: Ireland
3: France
4: Malaysia
5: Japan
6: Russia
7: Austria
8: Chile
 


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