Before the match, William Marshall (Scotland) was honored for his 100th International Cap. Nicholas Parkes was playing in his first international match for Scotland, while Matthew Sarmento was earning his first Cap for Canada.
The match started at full speed between two teams eager to see some real action after weeks of practice prior to the competition. Canada drew first blood within 5 minutes of play by Matt Guest, cleanly beating the keeper with a reverse-stick shot on a cross from the right, then Keegan Pereira added another goal, collecting the ball after a broken penalty-corner and surprising James Cachia in the Scottish goal with a low shot.
Things were looking bright for Canada, but Scotland promptly closed the gap with a superb penalty-corner by Niall Stott, leaving no chance to Antoni Kindler in the Canadian goal after the initial shot was blocked by the runners. Canada immediately forced another penalty-corner on a swift combination between Matt Guest and Mark Pearson on the right; the corner led to a penalty-stroke and Scott Tupper did not miss the chance to re-establish a two-goal cushion for Canada.
The see-saw continued, with both teams conceding an own goal in a few minutes. Play was flowing quickly from one end to the other, much to the pleasure of the crowd .Canada had a slight advantage in possession but were regularly under pressure, and needed to survive a penalty-corner in the last seconds of the period to go into the break on a 4-2 score. It was however clear that nothing was done and the result could swing either way in this opened and balanced match.
Canada were promptly on the attack in second period, but could not seriously threaten James Cachia in the Scottish goal, and the first opportunity was for Scotland, forcing a penalty-corner after stealing a ball from a defender. The set-piece was well defended by Canada, and play continued at a fast pace, with the goal-keepers called into action at both ends.
Scotland earned a penalty-stroke on a stick obstruction in a melee in front of the goal, and Niall Stott scored his second goal of the match, closing the gap once more to only one goal… only for a few seconds as Mark Pearson collected the ball in traffic in the Scottish circle on the next action and slammed it in goal. 5-3 and fifteen minutes to go, the crowd was enjoying the attacking display!
Play became more physical in the last ten minutes, with Scotland pushing forward and Canada keeping them at bay. Opportunities became scarce and Canada earned the 3 points of the win after an intense battle.
They will be happy with their form for their first match in six months, while Scotland can be satisfied of their fierce resistance against a better ranked team.
Canada will be resting up this evening as they play Poland tomorrow (May 7) at 9:30AM EST. For streaming, video, and live coverage, click here. Also join us on Twitter for all the games by tweeting and following @FieldHockeyCan and using the hashtag #FHCMNT.