It was knockout stage in the Telmex Tercel Trophy competition at the Homeless World Cup as Ireland reached the final
Ireland - Kyrgyzstan - 10:5
In glorious sunshine in the historic Zagalo Square Mexico Ireland made tough work of putting away the challenge of the plucky Kyrgyzstan’s’. Ireland opened the scoring early on with a fine effort from the indomitable Dowling but were quickly hauled back level, another goal for Ireland this time Madigan fired home a beauty only to see Kyrgzstan equalise again. Ireland were looking sluggish and way below par. Ireland scored again through Dinan and Dowling who is racking up quite a tally in the competition. He was the one Irish player who looked at it today but was being drawn into a dangerous game of reacting to fouls by Kirghizstan. We entered the second period at 5 - 2 and Ireland rattled in two more though Kinsella, again Kirghizstan replied. Ireland were being caught in possession leaving themselves open forcing the ever reliable O'Reilly to keep them at bay. It was left up to Dowling to finish the scoring two more and see Ireland reach the semi final stage in relative comfort.
Ireland - Scotland - 8:2
This semi final was eagerly awaited by both camps. The battle of the Celts would not be for the faint of heart. Ireland set their stall by bossing the ball early on. They had visibly upped their game and were making it show. They quickly rattled in 2 goals from Dowling only to see Scotland pull one back. Both keepers were outstanding with O'Reilly making important stops when it counted. Madigan went down injured after he was caught while taking a shot. Kinsella his replacement came on and immediately made an impact with two quick-fire goals. Ireland were quicker to the ball and stronger in the tackle with both teams showing a huge desire. Ireland score through Dowling before O'Reilly was beaten by a blistering volley from the halfway line.
This is where Ireland showed their class with a cushion between them they slowed the pace keeping the ball in Scotland's half and running the Scots around until the chances appeared and appear they did with more goals from Dinan and Dowling. If Scotland did manage to get the ball in Ireland's half the grit and determination of the boys in green was enough to win it back. The game ended with a clash heads between the two captains with both players sprawled on the ground just proving that they were willing to go to the last second for a game that was already done and dusted. The game ended with both players and coaching staff embracing with genuine goodwill and respect for each other.