France got off to the stronger start winning a penalty corner in the opening minutes of the match but Johnny Bell made a superb save on the line to prevent Ireland going down by an early goal. Two minutes later France appeared caught off guard by the pace of Neal Glassey and Matthew Nelson as they glided through the French defence to set up Chris Cargo for the opening goal, a fitting reward for Cargo who earned his 150th cap today. The pendulum of the game continued to swing and it only took France 3 minutes to draw the game level thanks to a penalty corner. The opening quarter drew to a close at 1-1 with France happy to keep hold of possession at the back.
Cargo was unlucky not to double his haul early in the second quarter with a great chance but Jamie Wright was on hand moments later to give Ireland the lead. Ben Walker, earning his first senior international cap, made it look easy as he evaded the final defender to set Wright up for his first international goal.
The Green Machine continued to look the more threatening with Matthew Nelson drawing a fine save from Arthur Thieffry and Johnny McKee poaching the ball from the French defence to earn Ireland another penalty corner. The French discipline seemed to waiver and they were reduced to 9 players but did well to hold off waves of Irish attack. But the goal that had been threatening for some time arrived courtesy of Cargo once again as he tapped in Nelson’s reverse cross.
Ireland face Spain in their final match of the series on Friday Feb 3rd at 1pm local time.
Ireland 3 (Cargox2, Wright)
Starting: Ingram (GK), J Bell (Captain), M Bell, Gleghorne, Harte, Cargo, Glassey, O’Donoghue, E Magee, McKee, Dale,
Subs: L Cole, Nelson, Wright, Walker, Brown, O’Connor, Carr (GK)
Spain 4vs4 France 29/1/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
France 2vs2 Ireland 30/1/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
Spain 2vs1 Ireland 31/1/2017 4pm Malaga
Spain 6vs0 France 1/2/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
France 1vs3 Ireland 2/2/2017 4pm in Malaga
Spain vs Ireland 3/2/2017 1pm in Benalmadena
*times listed are local.