Field Hockey Canada > Canada confident heading into men’s World League 2 quarterfinal

After finishing second in their group, the Canadian Men’s National Field Hockey team is set to take on Italy in a World League Round 2 quarterfinal match Thursday in Chula Vista, California. 

Canada managed two wins and one loss through pool play and narrowly missed out on running the table and first place in its group after falling 2-1 to Russia in a game which the Canadians led 1-0 for the majority of the match.

Despite the disappointment of dropping a game they feel should have resulted in a victory, Canada is confident heading into Thursday’s playoff round.

“We’re playing well,” says Canadian head coach Anthony Farry. “Our process is going well. We’re able to execute and we are able to create a lot of chances and from that perspective that gives us a lot of confidence.”

The confidence for Canada – the tournament’s top ranked team – also comes for the knowledge that they have put on a clinical display of ball control and offensive creativity.

And while the scores haven’t quite reflected their dominance on the field, Farry believes his team is in a good spot as the tournament stakes now ramp up.

“We’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at,” Farry adds. “We’ve had a good look at Italy and we’ve had a good look at ourselves.”

“Despite the fact that we’re not putting fifteen goals in with the amount of opportunities we’ve had, I’m pleased with how the forwards are going.”

Goals have come from a variety of sources and positions for Canada throughout the first few games.

Forward Matthew Sarmento leads the team in goals with three, while defender and team captain Scott Tupper has tallied twice, and veteran midfielders Mark Pearson (1) and Iain Smythe (2) have scored as well. Brendan Bissett (1) also managed to get his name of the score sheet.

Most importantly for Canada, ranked fourteenth in the world, the team is playing well headed into the most important match of the tournament against Italy (world no. 32).

“I think we just continue to build on what we’ve been doing,” says Farry. “Tomorrow is going to be no different for us. We’ll step up, we’ll put Italy under a lot of pressure, we’ll make sure that we’re moving the ball quickly and trying to get them to move around a lot.”

If they do and come out with the victory, Canada will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between Ireland and Trinidad and Tobago. Ireland is the second ranked team in the tournament and at fifteen is one spot behind Canada in the FIH World Rankings.

Canada and Italy play Thursday at 10:45am in Chula, Vista California.

The top three teams at the end of the tournament advance to World League Round 3 in June, where teams will battle for six qualification spots to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.