Finland - Ireland - 4:11
In the late spring like sunshine in Zocalo Mexico city, this morning Ireland took on the Finns. In a a tough first period Finland stood firm and refused to be put away despite Ireland’s dominance twice coming from behind to keep the scores level. However Gavin Dowling was a man with a mission and scored 3 of a six goal tally in the first half with Tomás Dinan adding a fourth to give Ireland a 4 - 2 half time lead. Finland seem to tire significantly in the second half as Ireland upped the pace, Dowling again was superb leading the charge. Dowling added a further three to his impressive record with more goals coming from Anthony Madden 2, Ed Madigan Ken Kinsella and Daneil Moore. Limited time recuperate for the Irish as theRussians are coining.
Ireland - Russia - 3:3 (1:2 penalties)
This was a showdown at high noon and Clint Eastwood would not have looked out of place in the scorching Mexican sunshine. These two evenly matched teams fought out a head to head battle that has to be up there with the best of the Tournament so far. Ireland pressed relentlessly early on but Russia struck first on the break. Ireland regrouped Tomas Dinan fired home emphatically to bring the sides level and so it remained until just before half time when Russia struck again. Ireland came out for the second half and pushed for an equaliser while Jordan O'Reilly kept the gates closed at the other end with a number of fine saves as the Russians broke with pace. Ireland had a goal disallowed when advantage should have been played. Ireland were not to be denied however when Dowling slotted calmly home from a central position. This put the fire in their bellies and shortly after Dinan scored a beauty to give Ireland a deserved lead. Ireland created enough chances to stretch their lead but with some poor decision making failed to capitalise. The sun and high altitude were taking their toll on Ireland and some heroic defending from Dowling and O Reilly in goal while Dinan in particular dug deep at this point and Ireland kept the lead until the final moments Russia broke through to equalise. Ireland pushed for winner but to no avail. The game was decided on penalties with Russia winning 2 - 1.
Chile - Ireland - 7:2
This was played on pitch one where Chile have played all their games. The conditions were draining and Ireland had been battling all day. It started well for Ireland as they took the lead but Chile scored a fine goal on the break to level before taking the lead. Ireland pushed and Dowling score a cracking drive to level the score. Chile had some fine chances and O'Reilly was proving to be heroic between the sticks with save after save. It was inevitable when Chile struck again. Ireland are known for their heart and would not go away and so the equaliser fell to Dinan who scored from the left. Chile went after a third and scored from a fortunate rebound after O'Reilly had made an astonishing double save just before the whistle. In the second half opening exchanges Ireland held the upper hand but Chile were devastating on the counter and despite the keepers best efforts they added to their tally. Ireland continued to play well and tested the Chilean keeper a number if times with no joy. In the end Chile’s class told and the Irish boys had to suck it up. They may have been defeated but they refused to be beaten. The courage and resolve that these young men have shown over the past few days is inspirational. They are out if the World Cup proper but are still in the hunt for a trophy as they compete for the Telmex Tecel Trophy on Saturday and so the story continues.