World University Games
Men’s 7th/8th Place Play Off
IRELAND 1 FRANCE 1
(France won 4-3 on pens)
The World University Games campaign ended in bitter disappointment for the Ireland men’s team when they lost out on penalties to France in the seventh place play off in Naples after coming from a goal down to level in the closing minutes.
Simon Falvey who had replaced Alan O’Sullivan six minutes earlier equalised two minutes from time to force the penalty shoot out.
France came out on top in the shoot out and they had goalkeeper Bastian Rempp to thank for keeping out efforts from Dean Kelly and Mikey Scott and stepping up himself to beat Gavin Sheridan and seal a seventh place finish for France in the 12 nation championship ahead of Ireland in the final rankings.
While on the mark with their spot kicks for Ireland were Jamie Hollywood, Falvey and Sean McSweeney.
France made all the early running and they went ahead on twenty minutes when Teiva Blanchet got clear of the Irish defence to meet Vincent Roux’s cross and powered his header past the helpless Sheridan.
McSweeney thought he had equalised for Ireland on 33 minutes after he connected with Anthony McAlavey’s free kick and headed it past Rempp only to have it ruled out for offside.
Ireland mounted a determined push for an equaliser in the second half and Scott went close with a rasping drive that tested Rempp.
That was the closest it got until Falvey struck with time running out to get in behind the French defence and meet Rob Slevin’s ball forward before steering it beyond Rempp.
Unfortunately for the second successive day an Ireland team had come off second best in a penalty shoot out after the women’s side were denied a bronze medal finish when they went down to Russia in similar fashion.
Ireland: Gavin Sheridan, Sean Trimble (Jamie Hollywood 68), Joe Manley, Rob Slevin, Tristan Noack-Hofmann; Dean Kelly, Shane Daly-Butz (Mikey Scott 76), Sean Quinn (Cillian Duffy 60), Anthony McAlavey, Sean McSweeney; Alan O’Sullivan (Simon Falvey 82).