Field Hockey Canada > Canada draws final pool match, advances to quarterfinal in London

Canada draws final pool match, advances to quarterfinal in London

PHOTO: Taylor Curran of Canada and Timothy Atkins of Scotland battle for the ball during the Pool B match between Scotland and Canada on day six of the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on June 20, 2017 in London, England  (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

June 20, 2017 | Shaheed Devji |

Canada’s men’s field hockey team played to a 1-1 draw with Scotland in its final pool match at the World League Semi-Final Tuesday in London.

With the result, Canada finishes in third in Pool B and advances to the tournament quarterfinal and will face the second place finisher England (12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET; CBC Sports) in Pool A on Thursday.

In Scotland on Tuesday, Canada faced an opponent on the brink of elimination from the quarterfinal and with everything to play for, while the Canadians had third place in Pool B essentially locked down.

But despite the contrasting storylines entering the match, the game began with intensity and pace from both sides.

And there was no lack of drama early.

In the 3rd minute, Canadian veteran Mark Pearson made a solo run into the Scottish circle and along the baseline before throwing the ball across to Gabriel Ho-Garcia. The play ended up with Canada being awarded a penalty stroke.

It would have been the Canadians’ third stroke of the competition – with captain Scott Tupper having converted on the first two – but Scotland used its referral and asked for a video review and the call was overturned.

Canada had the majority of the ball to start the game, at one point controlling possession by a margin of 70-30 percent.

In the 12th minute, it picked up its first corner of the match after Tupper smashed a ball into the Scottish area and off a foot.

Tupper himself got the call for the flick and his attempt was stopped on the goal line by the postman to keep the game scoreless.

Canada had its best opportunity to take the lead near the end of the first quarter, when Matthew Sarmento played a ball across the face of the goal to Richard Hildreth who was open with the keeper beat, but had the ball bounce by him.

In the second quarter, Scotland had a similar opportunity to get on the board when Kenny Bain missed a tap-in of his own at the side of the Canadian goal.

Then Gord McIntyre put a shot wide from the top of the Canadian circle, as Scotland began to get its footing in the match.

Canadian keeper David Carter was forced to make a save in the 26th minute on Scotland’s first corner of the game, on which it sent the ball back the injector on a variation, but that Carter handled easily.

Then, Carter and Tupper teamed up to stop another Scottish corner just moments later.

With both teams having had chances to open the scoring and take the lead and the Canadians withstanding early second quarter pressure from the Scottish, Canada was given another corner in the 29th minute and this time made good.

Gordon Johnston got the call and put a high flick past the keeper Thomas Alexander to put Canada up 1-0.

The score stood until near the end of the third quarter thanks in part to fantastic goalkeeping by Carter, which was highlighted by back-to-back saves in the 36th minute off Alan Forsyth on a dragflick and rebound that Carter stopped by diving across the goal.

But in the 42nd minute, Scotland was awarded another corner and while Carter made the first save on Bain, Willie Marshall who picked up the rebound and put it through the legs of the Canadian netminder and in the goal to tie the game 1-1.

The draw meant Canada picked up a point for a grand total of four on 1 win, 1 draw and 2 losses in pool play.

Canada finishes the pool stage in third behind India and the Netherlands, and ahead of Pakistan, which finished in fourth with three points thanks to its win against Scotland. The point against Canada was Scotland’s only point of the competition, and with its fifth place finish it will not advance to the quarterfinal.