Written by James Kirkpatrick
This morning started off much like every other day for the Men’s National Development Squad, an 8AM wake up for an activation session around the track at the Olympic training Centre in Mexico City.
Afterwards we headed down to the dining hall for a large breakfast consisting of pancakes, eggs, sausage, yogurt, etc. Sadly the coffee is a little weak for those addicts like myself but It was still consumed in large quantities.
Afterwards the boys met for a meeting where coach Matthews went over the game plan for the match against Mexico. After the meeting it was clear that there was some nervous energy as numerous players were getting their first caps for Canada.
This is a huge event in anyone’s playing career so nerves are to be expected! I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who earned their first cap for Canada today!
A huge accomplishment! After getting our playing equipment put together, everyone piled into the vans for the hour long trek through the horrendous Mexico City traffic to the pitch for our first match against Mexico.
The match started off strongly with the flow of play going in our favor. We moved and possessed the ball very well and created many opportunities. However, we were unable to convert our chances.
Mexico managed to strike first of an interception at the Canadian 25 yard line bringing the score to 1-0. With some solid pressure we came back before the end of the half to convert a penalty corner.
A deflection from myself put the ball in the back of the net to level the score at one apiece. The second half saw some exciting hockey in both directions. Highlights included a backhand from Jannu that hit the post and a stroke that was well saved by Tristan.
The score remained tied until the end of the second half when Mexico converted a penalty corner to give them the lead.
We pushed hard to come back and earned numerous penalty corners but were unable to convert them.
By pushing for a goal we opened ourselves up for counter attack and the Mexican squad earned and converted another penalty corner at the end of the match to finalize Mexico’s victory. It was a disappointing result for us but there were many positives for moving forward to our next match against Cuba tomorrow.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more.