IRELAND tore the formbook apart when they held world no 5 Britain to a 2-2 draw in Group B of the World League Semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium yesterday.
The Green Machine, ranked 14th, came back from two goals down to hold Britain. It was the first match of the tournament for Ireland, while Britain were also held to a 2-2 draw by Belgium in an earlier match.
Malaysia play Ireland next on Thursday (25th), and it looks like touch-and-go game, as the Irish have a mix of young and experience on their side.
Ireland coach Craig Fulton was glad with the draw, but is looking forward to a better outing in the next match against Malaysia.
"Yes, we did have a good game today (yesterday) and could have pulled off a win if not for hitting the post three times. However, we are now looking forward to our next match against Malaysia and its not about the opponents, but how well we imporve ourselves and cut down the mistakes," said Fulton.
Fultom was also the coach when Malaysia beat Ireland 4-2 for the Champions Challenge bronze in Kuantan last year.
"The score was 2-2 and the last 10 minutes we lost the script and crashed. But that was a different tournament, and even though Malaysia have an experienced team which has consistently played in many tournaments, we need to play our game and winning every match here is what we need to do after this draw," said Fulton.
Britain coach Bobby Crutchley was naturally disappointed: "Ireland did not play to their ranking (14th) and with two draws in this tournament, we need to play much better from now on."