Field Hockey Canada > Pakistan defeats Canada in CCI opener

Pakistan defeats Canada in CCI opener

December 6, 2009 | Field Hockey Canada | fieldhockey.ca

Pakistan defeats Canada in Champions Challenge opener

December 6, 2009

The 2009 Champions Challenge opened under stormy skies in a venue diligently prepared by the Salta Hockey Association. Pakistan and Canada were first in action, with Pakistan immediately threatening and earning a free hit just outside the circle to create danger in front of Dave CARTER in the Canadian goal. A few minutes later, Rehan BUTT penetrated the Canadian circle but was prevented to shoot on goal by Scott SANDISON, calmly clearing the ball in both occasions.

Pakistan maintained the pressure, well absorbed by a patient Canadian defense. Then Canada took advantage of a green card to Rehan BUTT to mount their first dangerous attack; Connor GRIMES received the ball in front of Salman AKBAR in the Pakistani goal but was prevented to unleash his shot. The first penalty-corner was for Pakistan in the 14th minute and Sohail ABBAS did not miss the chance to open the score, with a little bit of luck, his weak low shot being deflected in goal by a defender.

Pakistan continued to control the play, but were wasting opportunities and losing balls on unforced errors, giving the opportunity to the Canadians to organize their game and mount a few dangerous attacks of their own. The danger shifted sides after a yellow card to Canadian captain Ken PEREIRA and Pakistan earned another penalty-corner, dutifully converted by Sohail ABBAS, this time with a high flick that shaved the crossbar.

Canada immediately reacted and earned a penalty-corner of their own, but Wayne FERNANDES was less efficient and his flick was deflected high by a defender, so half-time was reached with a two-goal advantage for Pakistan. The Canadians started the second period in better offensive dispositions and pushed back Pakistan in their defensive zone. They earned a penalty corner but Scott TUPPER’s high flick was brilliantly saved by Salman AKBAR.

Canada had the upper hand for a while, but could not score. They were finally rewarded when Wayne FERNANDES scored on a penalty-corner, after some confusion when the Pakistani goal-keeper received a green card for breaking too early. Canada kept pushing, and unsettled the Pakistani defense with swift runs by Gabbar SINGH and Ken PEREIRA, but could not tie the game.

Pakistan had a series of penalty-corners in the final minutes, successfully defended by the Canadian defense. The game ended in some confusion after a last minute penalty-corner for Canada was denied by the opposite umpire.

Pakistan won this first game, once again benefiting from Abbas’ lethal drag flick on penalty-corner, but they were certainly not impressive and struggled when Canada managed to lift the tempo of play.

The BDO Champions Challenge continues on Tuesday in Salta when Canada face South Africa.

For additional information, pictures, video clips, official game sheets, and more, please check the special FIH event microsite @ http://www.2009championschallengemen.sportcentric.com/ .

BDO Champions Challenge I (men) – Salta, Argentina
Results Day 1 – Sunday 6 December 2009

Pakistan – Canada  2:1 (2:0)
PAK  14mn  Sohail ABBAS (PC)  1:0
PAK  31mn  Sohail ABBAS (PC)  2:0
CAN  47mn  Wayne FERNANDES (PC)  2:1