Field Hockey Canada > China defeats Canada at Champions Challenge

China defeats Canada at Champions Challenge

December 12, 2009 | Field Hockey Canada |

China defeats Canada at Champions Challenge

December 12, 2009

The Canadian men’s national field hockey team were defeated by China 3-1 Saturday morning in Salta, Argentina.  It was Canada’s first match of the 5-8 classification round in the 2009 International Hockey Federation (FIH) Champions Challenge.

The two teams started tentatively, testing each other. Canada was first on the scoreboard in the 7th minute when Mark PEARSON received the ball in the circle, escaped his marker with a turn and shot the ball out of reach of Rifeng SU in the Chinese goal. However China were promptly level with a field goal by Yi SONG. The Canadians were controlling the midfield but were prevented from penetrating deep in the Chinese camp by the speed of their opponents.

China earned a penalty-corner after a stolen ball in midfield was turned into a swift counter-attack, and Yi SONG scored his second goal after avoiding the runners and slotting the ball just inside the post. The Canadians were circulating the ball efficiently but were lacking the jump they had in their match against Argentina. They defended well two penalty-corners early in second period, but could not prevent Fenghui LU to pounce on the rebound of the third one to widen the gap.

Canada pushed higher but left their backfield more open and China had a great opportunity when Yang YU and Yi SONG arrived alone in the circle, but were well handled by Dave CARTER in the Canadian goal. Canada had two penalty-corners but were less efficient that against Argentina. They were circulating the ball well, with some dazzling series of passes, however they could not generate good chances and the game ended with a win for the Chinese (3-1). China will now play South Africa on Sunday for 5th- 6th place, while Canada will play Belgium for 7th-8th tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM.

The Champions Challenge is an international field hockey tournament, played every two years, featuring the teams ranked seventh to twelfth in the world, the host nation, and the last place finisher of the elite-level Champions Trophy tournament.