IRELAND pushed reigning Olympic champions Germany all the way but ultimately were undone 3-2 in Deodoro in their third Pool B game at the Olympic Games in Rio.
It means that Ireland, who have Kinsale’s David Harte (Ireland captain) in goal and his twin brother Conor in defence, must now beat both Canada on Thursday and Argentina on Friday to give themselves a chance at reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.
David Harte was in the kind of form that saw him land the world goalkeeper of the year award, regularly denying Florian Fuchs – among others – while Ireland showed plenty of verve in attack.
Fuerste – the 2012 world player of the year – opened the scoring for Germany, but Ireland replied after a composed period in the second quarter and got back on terms with a breathtaking goal from Eugene Magee. It was 1-1 at half-time.
Germany won the game in a 240-second spell between the 38th and 42nd minutes. Fuerste’s second corner flick made it 2-1 and then Zwicker picked up an uncleared ball and slapped into the corner for a strong advantage.
Ireland hung tough to cling onto a piece of the game in the minutes after that before pushing forward in the latter stages. Jermyn’s drag-flick was well saved by Jacobi before Darling pulled one back with a screamer from the top of the circle.
That was with 83 seconds left but no final chance came as Germany saw out time.
It means two big games ahead for Ireland and key defender Jonny Bell says the side is ready for the challenge.
‘Our heads aren’t down but we haven’t got the results we wanted. There is good togetherness and unity in our group and we will be back strong for the last two games.
‘There has been a gradual improvement and we are getting into our stride, playing our patterns better, probably looking more like the Ireland that people know. That’s positive going into the last two games.’
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, J Jermyn, E Magee, K Shimmins, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte.
Subs: J Bell, C Cargo, A Sothern, P Caruth, S O’Donoghue.
Germany: N Jacobi, M Muller, L Butt, M Haner, M Grambusch, C Wesley, T Hauke, C Ruhr, M Fuerste, F Fuchs, T Oruz.
Subs: M Trompertz, T Herzbruch, T Grambusch, M Zwicker, N Wellen.