10 July 2013
IRELAND'S mens team qualified for the quarter-finals of the World University Games despite a 1-0 loss to Mexico tonight in Kazan, Russia.
Danny Crowley's side finished second in the group behind the hosts. Ireland finished level in the group with the Mexicans but had a better goal difference.
Mexico needed to win by two clear goals but the came up against an extremely organised Irish team who defended well and were a constant threat going forward with some excellent breaks throughout the game.
The technically proficient South Americans played a 3-4-3 system and went for goals from the start.
Ireland almost went ahead on 26 minutes when Josh O'Shea found space on the edge of the box but his curling shot was superbly tipped away by Madrigal.
On 37 minutes Mexico took the lead. A corner wasn't cleared properly and the ball fell kindly to Alvarado who side footed the ball to the net via the post.
Mexico attacked non stop throughout the second half but were limited to half chances mainly due to some suburb defending. Ireland had a couple of chances on the break but failed to trouble Madrigal
Deep in injury time Hernandez throught he had put his side through but his volley was inches wide, the referee blew the full time whistle and Ireland secured a place in the quarter finals where they will play France on Friday at 2pm Irish time.
Manager Danny Crowley said: "That was a monumental effort against a bloody good team, I couldn't be any happier with the lads, their attitude has been unbelievable since the start of the tournament.
"Wwe have such a great group of lads and staff. I have never been prouder of a team, this is such a big achievement."
Ireland: Craig Sexton, Tom King, Dylan Mernagh, Jamie Carr, Reece McEnteer, Darren Forsyth, Paul Malone, Raymond Foy, Correy Davidson, Cillian Morrison, Josh O'Shea. Subs: Johnny Addis for Davidson (52), Andy Mulligan for Morrison (68), Brian Nolan for Forsyth (74),