Field Hockey Canada > Canada vs. Poland 3-1 (0-1)

Canada vs. Poland 3-1 (0-1)

May 7, 2013 | Field Hockey Canada |

Canada and Poland had met 4 times in official competitions in the last year and their confrontations have always been tight affairs decided by one goal. This match promised to be similar, both teams starting at full speed and trading blow for blow. The first real chance was for Poland after a long run by Dariusz Rachwalski, but Dave Carter stood tall in the Canadian goal to thwart the attack. Canada also had a good chance after a patient buildup but the ball eluded the stick of Gabriel Ho-Garcia alone in front of the Polish keeper.

Neither team could take control of play and action was swinging wildly from end to end, much to the pleasure of the crowd enjoying the show (and the sun). Canada earned a penalty-corner after 20 minute of play, but Gordon Johnston’s low flick was well saved by Arkadiusz Matuszak in the Polish goal. Soon after, Poland exploited well a lost ball by the Canadian defense and Mateusz Hulboj scored after avoiding the Canadian keeper waiting for him at the top of the circle.

Canada started to play with more urgency and had another chance on penalty-corner but their fancy option was countered by the Polish defense. They dominated the end of period but to no avail and the Poles kept their narrow 1-goal lead into the break.

Second period started on the same pattern, an intense and balanced battle. Canada had a couple of chances by Richard Hildreth and Matt Guest, but no cigar until the 47th minute when a penalty-corner evolved in a penalty-stoke, dutifully converted by Scott Tupper. The Canadians doubled their tally on the next action, Mark Pearson deflecting in goal Tupper’s low flick on penalty-corner. The match had changed in a few minutes and the Poles were now the ones fighting the uphill battle.

Canada needed to weather a period of intense Polish domination before increasing their lead by Iain Smythe on hand to conclude a swift counter-attack with a deflection under the nose of the Polish keeper. The match lost momentum after some confusion when the Polish goalkeeper Arkadiusz Matuszak received a yellow card on a penalty-corner, and Canada cruised to their second win of the competition, leaving Poland dejected with their 2 losses.

Click here for a photo gallery of the game.

Canada has a well deserved rest day tomorrow before resuming competition on Thursday vs. Portugal at 4 am EST.