Field Hockey Canada > Canada and New Zealand draw on a pair of short corner goals

Canada and New Zealand draw on a pair of short corner goals

PHOTO: Antoni Kindler and the Canadian penalty corner defence stand tall against New Zealand at the 2016 Azlan Shah Cup.

April 7, 2016 | Shaheed Devji |

Canada’s men’s field hockey team picked up its first point of the 2016 Azlan Shah Cup thanks to a 1-1 draw with New Zealand Thursday in Ipoh, New Zealand.

After a strong first half, in which they were the dominant team on the field, the Canadians narrowly missed out on the victory after the Blacksticks scored on the buzzer at the end of the third quarter on a corner.

As it often is with two evenly matched teams, it was a tale of two halves.

Canada and New Zealand know each other well having met just last year at the World League Semifinal in Argentina, but there was still a feeling out process for the first ten minute of the match.

After that, it was Canada that began to carry the play.

With a quick pace and quick ball movement, the chances started to roll in and in the final two minutes of the first quarter, Canada was awarded back-to-back corners.

The first was partially blocked but the ricochet came free to Matthew Guest who swept it just wide of the New Zealand goal. On the next opportunity, Gordon Johnston’s number was called.

The 23 year-old native of Vancouver stepped up with a heavy dragflick that was only caught at the last second by the stick of Kiwi keeper Devon Manchester.

Guest had another opportunity to score early in the second quarter when the Canadians turned over the ball and his solo dash ended in a backhand that was turned away by Manchester.

The play evened out again before New Zealand had their best chance to score on their first corner. Antoni Kinder, who started in goal for Canada after David Carter played Wednesday against Pakistan, turned the attempt away. It was one of 11 Kiwi corners on the night. Kindler and the Canadian corner defence managed to turn 10 of them away.

Only minutes later, the tide turned once again in Canada’s favour and this time they made good on their opportunity to strike first.

Johnston was up on another corner in the 25th minute and this time his low flick beat Manchester for the game’s first goal.

Canada took the lead into the second half and that’s when the Blacksticks began to press for an equalizer.

By the fifth minute of the third quarter, the Kiwis had been given four penalty corners and Canada was able to turn them all aside with a combination of blocks from the front runners, saves from Kindler, and a batted save on the goal line from Scott Tupper.

The Canadians got passed the barrage of corners and settled into the second half, but before the third quarter was out New Zealand was able to put one by Kindler and the Canadian on one of their 11 corners. Nic Woods’ goal in the 45th minute tied the game with 15 to go.

The teams battled hard in the fourth, but neither was able to get another goal and the game ended in a tie.

Canada picked up its first points of the tournament and has a rest day on Friday before taking on Japan on Saturday at 4:05pm in Malaysia (1:05am PT/4:05am ET in Canada).


  • Canadian keeper Antoni Kindler was named the Man of the Match for his outstanding effort in goal
  • This is the second straight game Canada and New Zealand have been tied after regulation; the last time the two teams met at the World League Semifinal in Argentina ended in a scoreless draw before heading to a shootout