Ireland wrote another chapter in their hockey history this afternoon as they recorded their first win in the Olympic Games since 1908 with a 4-2 success against Canada.
It means that they still have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the competition as a win over Argentina on Friday evening will see them through to the knock-out stages.
Speaking about the win, Mitch Darling – who scored the crucial fourth goal for Ireland – said: “It’s great to make another piece of history for Irish hockey, To be part of it individually and collectively, we’re delighted with the win but it means nothing now if we can’t back it up against Argentina.”
Ireland built a 3-0 half-time lead only for Canada to bounce back with two from Scott Tupper to make it very tight with 10 minutes to go before Darling sealed the deal.
“We have to analyse it because there were good phases and not so good phases and We need to be on top form against Argentina. We know Canada are a really resilient side and even at 3-0, we knew they could get back into the game with a sniff.
“We had to stay patient and shut the back door as we know we will get chances; they played a good second half but we came out on top.”
Ireland had to wait right until the end of Germany’s 4-4 draw with Argentina to see if their efforts were enough to keep the Olympic dream alive. In the end, they were grateful to Mathias Muller’s equalising goal eight seconds from the end which means that Friday’s game is still live.