chinese taipei 1-2 ireland - late goal too late for ireland

23 August 2017

It was victory tonight for Ireland in the World University Games as they finished their group campaign with three points against the hosts Chinese Taipei in the noisy cauldron of Fu Jen Catholic University Stadium. The victory however does not send the Irish into the quarter finals as an 82nd minute goal in the game between Mexico and France saw the European side get the point they needed to pip Greg Yelverton's side into second place.

Ireland started on the front foot looking for goals and had a major shout for a penalty after three minutes when Shane Daly Butz tried to get on the end of a cross before receiving a push in the back that did not draw the attention of the referee. The Cork winger had another shout a couple of minutes later but was too honest in staying on his feet after a tug back from the full back.

The hosts hadn't read the Irish script on twenty four minutes when Hao Wei Chen got in behind the Irish defence before being hacked down by Ireland captain Sean McLoughlin. The referee pointed to the spot and Chien Hsun Lin cooly dispatched the spot kick.

Ireland laid siege to the Taipei goal throughout, registering nineteen shots, with twelve of them on the goal of Shuo Che Tsai who pulled off multiple saves throughout with Daire O'Connor and Alan O'Sullivan forcing Tsai into some of his more smarter stops.

It took until the 72nd minute for Ireland to finally found the equaliser when Alan O'Sullivan muscled his way onto the ball and away from the defender to fire home to excite the Irish fans scattered across the stands.

The Irish onslaught continued with the Taipei goal being peppered with shots. The hosts were reduced to 10 when substitute Chih Hsuan Lai was dismissed for two reckless fouls in the space of a minute.

With time almost running out, Gary Kinneen delivered a cross in the second minute of stoppage time that O'Sullivan flicked on for DIT's Joe Doyle to head past the goalkeeper to send the Irish into a frenzy and deliver the three points. Scenes at the final whistle were muted however when news filtered on to the pitch that the French had got what they needed. Ireland will now enter the classification rounds with a game against South Africa on Friday again in Fu Jen Catholic University Stadium (KO: 9am Irish Time).

Speaking after the game, coach Yelverton said "Ultimately we definitely deserved the three points but it is football and it is the small margins that are decisive. If France don't score with eight minutes to go then we are in the quarter finals but now we find ourselves competing for ninth with a play-off against South Africa on Friday. It feels like a loss in the dressing room even though we won with the lads disappointed at not getting through. They're a good young bunch that are eager and hungry to learn so we'll get our heads screwed back on for Friday."

Ireland - Molloy, Dempsey, Then, McLoughlin, Brookes, McKeown (Dunne 79'), Sloggett (Kinneen 85'), Daly-Butz (Doyle 83'), O'Connor, McClelland, O'Sullivan.

Subs Unused: Kearns (GK), Hollywood, Lyons, Nugent, Barry, McAuliffe

Chinese Taipei - S Tsai, S Chen (C Jiang 78'), T Chen, Hung, Su, Chao, Chien Lin, H Chen, Li (M Tsai 61'), J Chen (Lee 61'), Che Lin (Lai 61').

Subs Unused: Huang (GK), S Jiang, Gao, Tuan, Cheng.

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