Field Hockey Canada > Canadians rally to tie India 4-4 in Surrey

Canadians rally to tie India 4-4 in Surrey

October 15, 2009 | Field Hockey Canada |

Canadians rally to tie India 4-4 in Surrey

October 14, 2009

By Omar Rawji

Game 3 of the 7 Test Super Series couldn’t come quickly enough for Team Canada, as they left Victoria feeling that they deserved better than their 0-2 record would indicate.  The match started well, as Scott Tupper made an immediate impact in his first game back from Europe, scoring on the game’s first penalty corner, 2 minutes in.  Unfortunately, the 1-0 lead would evaporate quickly as Canada dug themselves an enormous hole, falling down 4-1 by the 45th minute.

Despite the score line, Canada was not being outplayed on the field and they salvaged a broken penalty corner opportunity in the 66th minute, bringing the score to 4-2.  Canadian goalkeeper, David Carter, after surrendering four penalty corner goals, sensed then that he needed to send a message in order to keep the momentum in his team’s favour, and he made an incredible stick side save on India’s fifth attempt in the 65th minute.

“He had already gone four for four on me and I wasn’t going to let him put a fifth one in,” said Carter of his save. “I had to make that save to keep the guys in the game.”

Buoyed by Carter’s effort, the team responded by dominating the last five minutes of the match.  After creating a number of offensive chances already, also in his first game back from Europe, Mark Pearson finally broke through in the 68th minute, when he took a beautiful feed from Rob Short to bring the game to within one for Canada. 

“Shorty set me up real nice with a nice pass across and I just touched it in,” said Pearson of the goal.

With Canada’s relentless attack and the hometown crowd going wild in the last minute of play, Scott Tupper lofted an aerial pass that would find the goalscorer, Pearson, once again down field.

“It was just a beautiful ball from Tupper over the top,” explained a still excited Pearson, “I picked it up on the backhand and then I just let it fly.”

Canada’s Captain Ken Pereira was adamant that his team never gave up, “A lot of people thought it was over except for us.”

Similar to Game 2, the third installment was not without controversy.  This time India’s second goal, scored on a penalty corner, was originally signaled no goal by the umpire closest to the play.  The ball appeared to hit the cross bar, bounce straight down, and never cross the line.

“I didn’t think it went in,” said goalkeeper, Carter, on the play. But after conferring, the referees reversed their decision. 

After the match, Canada’s video technician Aaron Guest reviewed the play, pronouncing, “It was a goal.”

Although Canada held the advantage in penalty corners with six to India’s five, India was superior on the set plays on Wednesday.

“They’ve got a great corner, one of the best ones in the world, and they sure use it,” said veteran Rob Short, speaking of Sandeep Singh’s 4 for 5 effort.

“With a guy like Sandeep, we can’t really be doing that,” said Tupper, agreeing that five was too many opportunities to give the potent India side.

Canada’s Head Coach Alan Brahmst felt his keeper could have been better on the plays, saying, “Our goaltending was sub-par on corners.”

Veteran Rob Short, playing in his 291st international match for Canada was not satisfied with the final outcome: “This was a game, like the last game, that I think we should have won.  We just didn’t score on our chances, and India finished their chances.”  Canada scored goals on two of their six penalty corner opportunities.

Brahmst was more positive on the final result: “I think this was a very important game for us.  Although it was only a point, we finally got [one] so we’re on the board, and we’ll be ready to go for Game 4.”

Game 4 will take place on Friday evening, again at 6 p.m. in Surrey.

Scoring Summary:

CAN – Tupper, Scott; PC; (2’); 0-1
IND – Singh, Sandeep; PC; (9’); 1-1
IND – Singh, Sandeep; PC; (18’); 2-1
IND – Singh, Sandeep; PC; (31’); 3-1
IND – Singh, Sandeep; PC; (45’); 4-1
CAN – Short, Rob; PC; (66’); 4-2
CAN – Pearson, Mark; (68’); 4-3
CAN – Pearson, Mark; (70’); 4-4

Penalty Corner Chances: CAN 6 – IND 5