Field Hockey Canada > Canada with 3-2 Loss to South Africa

Canada with 3-2 Loss to South Africa

March 19, 2014 | Field Hockey Canada |

The Canadian Men’s National team took to the pitch in Malaysia on March 16th for their fourth game of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. The game presented Canada with it’s best chance so far for a win.  Testament to the quality of teams Canada has faced, South Africa is currently ranked 12th in the world.  The sun was out and the oppressive humidity from the last few days eased up for game time.   The usual drums and singing school children helped to create a great atmosphere to play hockey.

There was backfield build up from both teams with possession, but tipped in Canada’s favour in the first 10 minutes.  Both teams had circle penetrations but Canada’s chances were more dangerous. Canada was rewarded by their play with a penalty corner in the 10th minute.   Scott Tupper scored a clinical goal on a low drag flick through the goalies legs.  Canada was in the lead 1-0. 

Confident play from the Canadians continued with an especially exciting left side run by Gabe Ho-Garcia showing excellent speed into the circle.  There was a flurry of shots on net before the ball was cleared by a South African defender.

The South Africans were able to hit some long balls from the back field that were getting through the middle, but the Canadian defence was solid and kept the ball from getting in the circle.   South Africa were rewarded with their better play with 2 goals, the first from a point blank shot on net in the 29th minute and then again in the 34th minute by a tic tac toe play.  The first half ended 2-1 in favour of South Africa.

The second half began with determined play by the Canadians.  Against the play, South Africa was awarded a penalty corner that was stopped by the Canadian defence.  Play continued in the middle of the field with no team getting the upper hand.  Scott Tupper kept the team’s composure under control with his solid, confident and imposing style of play.  Finally Iain Smythe earned a corner for the boys in red at the 48th minute.   A rocket drag flick by Scott Tupper was stopped by the goalie and Matt Guest deftly struck the rebound home for the equalizer.    Play continued with the teams tied but both teams pushing for the winner. 

With a flurry of play as the time ran down, the South Africans were able to capitalize with 6 minutes to go.  The Canadians did not give up and their quick aggressive passing and tackling kept the game exciting.  Canada earned a penalty corner with time run out but was unable to score.  The final score was 3-2 for South Africa.

Canadian veteran Mark Pearson said of the game; “It was a disappointing match for the boys here in Ipoh.  There are some positives to build upon, but we were really looking to put our first W up on the board. There is no time for the team to dwell on the result though as we have an important match tomorrow against China. Also, just a quick shout out to thank everyone back home who has been reading and commenting on our team blog entries, the guys are really feeling the support here!”

The last game of pool play for Canada is tomorrow against China at 6:00pm.

Canadian Men’s National Roster in Malaysia:

Adam Froese (Abbotsford, BC)

Antoni Kindler (Vancouver, BC)
Benjamin Martin (Vancouver, BC)

David Carter (Vancouver, BC)

Gabriel Ho-Garcia (Burnaby, BC)

Gordon Johnston (Vancouver, BC)

Hudson Stewart (Vancouver, BC)

Jagdish Gill (Toronto, ON)

James Kirkpatrick (Victoria, BC)

Iain Smythe (Vancouver, BC)
Keegan Pereira (Ajax, ON)

Mark Pearson (Tsawwassen, BC)

Matt Guest (Calgary, AB)

Paul Wharton (Vancouver, BC)

Philip Wright (Vancouver, BC)

Scott Tupper (Vancouver, BC)

Sukhi Panesar (Surrey, BC)

Taylor Curran (North Vancouver, BC)

For a fan-friendly in-depth look  at Field Hockey Canada Men’s National Team in Malaysia follow:


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