Irish boost Olympic qualifying hopes with victory over Pakistan

Alan Sothern scored Ireland's goal against Pakistan in the World League
Alan Sothern scored Ireland's goal against Pakistan in the World League

Ireland men's hockey team moved a step closer to the 2016 Olympics with a 1-0 victory over Pakistan in the World League tournament in Antwerp.

Alan Sothern scored the only goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter to book Ireland's place in Sunday's fifth-place play-off.

Victory against Malaysia will boost the Irish team's chances of reaching next year's Games in Rio.

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Chris Cargo of Ireland on the 1-0 victory over Pakistan

Ireland goalkeeper David Harte made a number of crucial saves late on.

Pakistan spurned a number of open goal opportunities in the first quarter and the Irish struggled in the second quarter with only 4% possession.

With chances limited, Ireland worked a good set piece and Sothern scored from a penalty corner at the the start of the final quarter.

Ireland survived a late scare when a Pakistan shot was deflected wide with 42 seconds remaining.

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