112 total views, 2 views today
Ireland and Croatia go head-to-head in their final group game of the 2021 EuroHockey II Championship in Gniezno, Poland.
The game will begin at 4:45 pm on Wednesday evening and will be streamed live on EuroHockeyTV.
Ireland enter the game with four points from two games and sit second in the table with one game to go.
Jonathan Bell’s side needs a win to confirm a spot in the semi-finals of the competition and earn themselves a FIH 2023 World Cup qualifier spot.
The Irish beat the hosts in their first game of the competition and drew with the Italians on Tuesday, the other team sitting in the semi-final spot with a game left.
A win of any description against world number 40 side Croatia will see them through to the semi-finals and a confirmed place in the World Cup qualifiers – achieving what they set out to reach at the start of this tournament.
The interplay between Shane O’Donoghue, who netted against Italy, and Tom Cross will be vital to the national team’s chances.
Their attacking intent will cause problems for the Croatians who have leaked goals in the competition.
The side conceded four each to Poland and Italy and will have a tough time keeping Ireland at bay.
Star player Mario Mucic leads the way in the scoring charts in the competition after grabbing all three goals for his side.
However, their lack of defensive organisation will make it tough for them to withstand Ireland’s threats in the forward line.
Ireland will need to keep their concentration and avoid conceding goals like the Italian equaliser if they want to progress.
A semi-final and a World Cup qualification spot are behind the door, a door Ireland have every right to open.
Ireland: J Milliken, T Cross, J McKee, N Glassey, K Marshall, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, P McKibbin, J Duncan, M Robson, B Nelson
Subs: D Walsh, K O’Dea, M McNellis, B Walker, F Gibson, I Stewart
Croatia: H Fijucek, C Zec, M Mucic, Z Vuk, B Bachmann, F Zlimen, J Krleza, L M Bachmann, T Premilovac, G Fujs, A Fujs
Subs: P Markovic, I Bagur, F Zlatar, J Damjanic, F Zlatar, L Wehr