Ireland hockey team left frustrated after video umpire allows India equaliser
World Hockey League: Round three tie
Ireland’s Andy McConnell: his sublime goal put Ireland 4-3 up with less than seven minutes on the clock
Ireland’s tempestuous affair with the video referral system came to pass once more as they were left frustrated in their opening World League round three tie, drawing 4-4 with world number 11 side India.
Twice in the closing five minutes of the tie, Ireland went upstairs to protest decisions only for the response to come back that “no decision was possible”, calls which ultimately worked against Ireland to deny them victory.
In March 2012, their Olympic hopes went up in smoke seven seconds from the end of their qualification final against Korea, the decision crucially seeing them fall 3-2.
The magnitude of these decisions was not in the same bracket but it did add to the feeling of an opportunity lost, especially after Andy McConnell’s sublime goal put Ireland 4-3 up with less than seven minutes on the clock.
Prior to that, Ireland overcame a rocky start to lead 2-1 at half-time with Alan Sothern’s delightful solo goal and a scrappy effort from Paul Gleghorne cancelled out Akashdeep Singh’s 15th-minute strike.
India replied in kind at the start of the second period with Rupinder Pal Singh whipping home a drag and birthday boy Shivendra Singh touching home VR Raghunath’s long ball for a 3-2 lead.
Conor Harte levelled from a penalty corner before McConnell created and completed an excellent team goal. He stole the ball on his own 22 before following up and sliding in ahead of PR Sreejesh after passes through Sothern and Timmy Cockram.
Rupinder levelled almost immediately but Ireland were seething that it stood, believing it should have been called dangerous by the video umpire.
He deemed the footage inconclusive as he did when Peter Caruth – impeccable throughout – appeared to be tripped at the far end soon after.
The response was the same and Ireland, ranked four places below India, were forced to settle for a draw.