Field Hockey Canada > Canada defeats China, advances to fifth place match

Canada defeats China, advances to fifth place match

January 20, 2024 | Field Hockey Canada |

Complete 60-minute performance gives Canada the win over China

In a commanding performance at the FIH Olympic Qualifier tournament in Oman today, the Canadian field hockey team secured a decisive 3-1 victory over China. The match kicked off with an impressive display from Canada, as Floris van Son wasted no time making an impact. Within the first few minutes of play, van Son showcased his individual brilliance by dribbling along the baseline and creatively finishing his own rebound with a spin onto his backhand.

The second quarter saw Canada extend their lead, with van Son once again playing a pivotal role. He unleashed a powerful ball into the circle, where Fin Boothroyd marked his 50th international cap in style, sliding in for a beautiful deflection for the goal. Throughout the first half, van Son emerged as an offensive standout, driving into the circle and showcasing excellent ball movement. Floris van Son was given the player of the match award and said that it was a challenging day to reset the mindset coming into today’s match but was happy with how the team responded.

“It’s difficult to reset after the group stage didn’t go as we wanted, but we knew we had two games left to play, and we had to do a mental reset,” van Son said. “Today we came out and got the win and got the win. We have lots to play for for fifth place tomorrow.”

Boothroyd was also a key contributor up front providing attacking runs and cashed in for Canada’s second goal. He said it’s good

“Yeah it feels great to contribute and get a goal that makes a difference in the match,” he said. “…and it feels a little extra special to do it on a milestone day.” Boothroyd noted that there was positives in today’s match and should have Canada feeling strong heading into the fifth place match.

“There were positives today and lots we can still work on. On the whole, today, to get a win and respond in the way we did is a great feeling,” Boothroyd said. “The message is moving forward is using our positives and parlaying those forward and building the group into the next match.”

China quickly responded after Boothroyd’s goal, narrowing the gap and making it a one-goal game as the match headed into the second half. However, Canada regained control in the third quarter, reclaiming momentum and creating quality chances in the Chinese half. A series of opportunities culminated in a penalty stroke for Canada, awarded after a Chinese defender blocked a shot with his body. Canadian captain Gordon Johnston stepped up and delivered the goal on the stroke, extending Canada’s lead to 3-1.

Zach Coombs and Ethan McTavish proved crucial for Canada, as they combined for some exceptional saves, maintaining the Canadian lead, splitting time in the Canadian net. The team continued their confident attack in the fourth quarter, closing out the match in tidy fashion. The final whistle confirmed Canada’s 3-1 victory, securing their place in the fifth-place match and showcasing a well-rounded performance that balanced offensive flair with defensive resilience.


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