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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019
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Mullan strikes late to secure Ireland's top-tier status at European Hockey Championships

The 3-2 win also ensures Ireland Women’s place in the 2021 edition of the tournament.

Ireland 3

Russia 2

KATIE MULLAN SNATCHED a late winning goal in Antwerp to secure Ireland Women’s fifth-place finish at the European Hockey Championships with a 3-2 victory over Russia.

ireland-v-russia-pool-c Nikki Evans celebrates scoring for Ireland. Source: WSP Koen Suyk

After missing out on a place in the semi-finals earlier this week following their draw against Germany, this morning’s victory ensures a top five finish and means Ireland will also feature at the 2021 edition of the tournament, retaining their status as a top-tier hockey nation.

After a quiet opening period, Bogdana Sadovaia gave the Russians the lead before Nikki Evans brought Ireland level. Sarah Hawkshaw nudged the Girls in Green into the lead, but Aleksandra Leonova’s goal looked to have earned a share of the spoils for Russia.

With two minutes remaining, Mullan took advantage of Ireland’s numerical advantage following a yellow card for for Russia’s Sorokina and found the net to secure the win.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough game and Russia are a good team; they certainly have some good players,” Ireland head coach Sean Dancer said after the game.

Last game of the tournament is always nice and tough. In the end, there I things we can do better, especially in the attacking circle and today we only forced one penalty corner so we probably weren’t as smart as we’ve been in the last few games.

“But real credit to the girls they kept fighting and were able to get the win.”

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