Player of the Tournament Shane O’Donoghue made his mark on the Hockey World League for the second day in succession by scoring the winner goal as Ireland (FIH World Ranking: 12) claimed a 2-1 triumph over Austria (WR: 18) in the final of the men’s Round 2 event in San Diego.
O’Donoghue, who scored both of the goals in Ireland’s 2-0 semi-final victory over Canada, fired home a 35th minute penalty corner to give the Green Machine a glorious 2-1 victory after early strikes from Mitch Darling and Austria’s Michael Körper left the scores locked at 1-1.
The tournament win was very much the icing on the cake for Ireland who, like Austria, had already sealed a safe passage through to the Olympic qualification phase of the Hockey World League by winning their respective semi-finals.
The one remaining ticket to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals was claimed by Canada (WR: 14), who produced a fine performance to overpower Russia (WR: 19) 4-1 in the 3rd place play-off match. Goals from Mark Pearson, Gabriel Ho-Garcia, Iain Smythe and Taylor Curran proved to be more than enough for the Canadians, with Igor Siniagin grabbing a consolation goal for the Russians late in the game.
Earlier in the day, Chile (WR: 25) took 5th place with a shoot-out victory against Italy (WR: 32), while tournament top scorer Pat Harris bagged a hat-trick to help host nation USA (WR: 27) to a 7th place finish thanks to a 5-3 triumph over Trinidad & Tobago (WR: 30). To see all tournament fixtures and results, please click here.
A total of nine qualification places for the HWL Semi-Finals are available in Round 2, with the top three finishers at each of the tournaments in Singapore (SIN), San Diego (USA) and Cape Town (RSA) all being certain to compete in the next phase. Ireland, Austria and Canada are joined by Malaysia, Poland and Japan, who all qualified for the HWL Semi-Finals thanks to top three finishes at the event in Singapore (SIN) earlier this year. To learn about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, click here.
Complete tournament information from San Diego can be found on the official tournament microsite.
1: Ireland – Qualified for Semi-Finals of Hockey World League
2: Austria – Qualified for Semi-Finals of Hockey World League
3: Canada – Qualified for Semi-Finals of Hockey World League
8: Trinidad & Tobago
Player of the Tournament: Shane O’Donoghue (IRL)
Top Scorer: Pat Harris (USA) – 7 goals
Young Player of the Tournament: Francesco Padovani (ITA)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: David Harte (IRL)
Source material: FIH.CH
Photograph: Irish winning team (Photo: © 2015 Paul Winstanley)