Field Hockey Canada > Canada loses to South Africa at 4-Nations

Canada loses to South Africa at 4-Nations

June 25, 2009 | Field Hockey Canada |

Canadian men lose to South Africa at 4-Nations

June 25, 2009

On Thursday afternoon, the Canadian men’s national field hockey team lost to South Africa (0-2) in their second game of the 4-Nations Tournament in Elektrostal, Russia.

The two teams had already met in an official test match here on Tuesday, when Canada lost 1-3 against a well prepared South African team. With similar styles, Canada and South Africa have historically been very close to each other: 3 wins for South Africa, 2 for Canada and 4 games tied since 2004. In the FIH World Rankings, South Africa is only 4 spots and 66 points behind 11th ranked Canada.

South Africa started the game strongly, controlling efficiently the midfield. They scored on their first penalty-corner in the 6th minute, then maintained their siege of the Canadian goal. The Canadian defense absorbed well the pressure until the 18th minute when South Africa increased their lead on another penalty-corner.

This triggered a reaction from the Canadians and they earned four penalty-corners, all saved by the South African goal-keeper, who also saved his team on two good Canadian opportunities later in the period.

Rain poured heavily during the second period, making it difficult to control the ball. South Africa had two additional penalty-corners but they were efficiently defended by a Canadian defense backed by Dave Carter in fine form. The game became wide open in the last ten minutes, with chances at both ends. A goal for Canada was called back by the umpire and Taylor Curran narrowly missed a tip in from a Scott Tupper cross.

Coach Alan Brahmst commented “This was a good effort by the boys. They were slow to start but managed to lift their game in response to the South African goals. I am of course not happy with the result, but we came here with the purpose of giving international experience to our younger players and they get plenty of it. It is satisfying to see the progress and attitude of players such as Connor Meakin andTaylor Curran, who is only 17!”

When asked how he felt on this first international tour, Taylor Curran said “At each practice, I receive tips from the older guys, and each game brings new experience. I have a thought for Indy Sehmbi, my coach back home, who has really influenced me and pushed me in the last years”.

In this game, Mark Pearson (Tsawwassen, BC) earned his 50th International Cap for Canada. The 2008 Olympian celebrated his 22nd birthday on this tour. He played in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the 2006 World Cup Qualifier in China and the recent Pan American Cup in Santiago.

In the other match of this 4-Nations tournament, an official FIH competition, Russia outplayed Bangladesh. The four teams have a rest day tomorrow, a welcome break for the Canadians who have played 4 games in so many days since Monday. Action continues on Saturday in Elektrostal, with Canada playing Bangladesh and South Africa concluding the round-robin against host Russia.


2009 4-Nations – Elektrostal, Russia – Standings

Team Pld Won Drw Lst Pts
South Africa 2 2 0 0 6
Russia 2 1 1 0 4
Canada 2 0 1 1 1
Bangladesh 2 0 0 2 0


Cover Photo: Yan Huckendubler