Hockey World League 3: Ireland defeat France in shootout

Ireland clinch World League shoot-out win over France

Ireland are on course for a World Cup finals spot after beating France in a World League 3 penalty shootout.

The 5th-8th place play-off game ended 1-1 with Hugo Genestet putting France ahead before Shane O'Donoghue levelled with a third-quarter penalty stroke.

Davy Harte saved twice as Ireland won the shootout 4-3.

Ireland face New Zealand in the 5th-6th place play-off - fifth guarantees a World Cup finals spot with sixth highly likely to also be enough to qualify.

France struck first in Friday's match in Johannesburg with Genestet netting in the first quarter after a penalty corner was blocked.

O'Donoghue equalised and both teams had chances to clinch a winner in the closing stages.

It went to penalties and the first six were converted. There was drama when Eugene Magee, who was second up for Ireland, was obstructed by the keeper and O'Donoghue stepped up to fire in the resulting penalty stroke.

O'Donoghue was unable to score from his penalty effort, but Harte kept out two France penalties and it was left to Chris Cargo to score the winner for Ireland.

Ireland will have little time to rest as they face New Zealand on Saturday with the victors going straight into next year's World Cup finals in London.

With winners from other worldwide tournaments also qualifying, it should open the way for the side finishing sixth to secure a spot in England.

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell (Captain), M Bell, C Cargo, M Nelson, A Sothern, S O'Donoghue, C Harte, J Duncan, S Cole.

Subs: J Carr, E Magee, N Glassey, S Murray, P Gleghorne, S Loughrey, J McKee (Injured)

France: P van Straaten, H Genestet, S Martin Brisac, V Lockwood, C Masson, N Dumont, G Deront, JP Forgues, V Charlet (Captain), E Tynevez, A Thieffry.

Subs: C Peters-Deutz, JL Kieffer, B Rogeau, G Baumgarten, F Goyet, E Curty, C Saunier.

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