Field Hockey Canada > Canada drops emotional thriller to Korea in final minutes

Late Korean goals the difference in fourth quarter drama in Terrassa

Thrilling bookends lead to a heartbreaking 3-2 loss for Canada.

The opening 30 seconds couldn’t have gone worse. Korea earned a penalty corner and Minji Kim made them pay. The next minute couldn’t’ have gone better. Canada immediately struck back, levelling the score line as Brie Stairs and Maddie Secco hooked up for a beautiful tying field goal.

After the breathtaking first two minutes, the game settled into a measured rhythm, with Canada controlling the play, for the most part. Both teams forayed into the attacking zones with little to show for it. Minutes ticked by until late in the fourth.

With 10 minutes remaining, Korea entered Canada’s zone and Seona Kim finished off an excellent centring ball. The goal broke the 45 minute deadlock and re-inserted some urgency into the game. Canada’s attack came heavy down the final stretch with five minutes remaining, Canada had their chance, earning a penalty corner.

Canada ran the set piece to perfection: Johansen with the fake, Woodcroft with the pass, McManus with the hit, Stairs with the deflection. It was a thing of beauty, and it evened the score with five to play.

But Korea had other plans. On the ensuing attacking play, the number 11 team in the world marched the ball into Canada’s zone, generating a shot and banged in the rebound. Canada pulled the goalie and attacked with all their might in the final three minutes but it was too little too late as the final hooter blew with Korea taking home the much-needed pool C victory.

Captain Natalie Sourisseau emotionally spoke pitch-side after the match, and said they knew they had their chances to win that game but couldn’t capitalize.

“We know we’re a good enough team to have won that game. We had the opportunities but just couldn’t put them away,” she said. “I think we need to manage the key moments better. We played well enough to win that game, but we couldn’t put our opportunities away.”

Rob Short echoed his captain’s sentiment, adding that he’s very proud with how the team played today. The emotional sting of this loss won’t go away anytime soon, but he reflects on the team’s positives from today’s match.

“We’re obviously devastated,” Short said. “I felt that we played really well. There were some key moments where we needed to tighten up, and we made mistakes and we can learn from that. But overall, we were composed, we stuck to the game plan, I thought we dominated at times, and we had the chances to win that game. I’m so proud of this team. We performed well, overall, this one hurts, it’s a stinger for sure.”

Canada will take on world number three, Argentina, on July 7 in what is now a must-win game if they hope to advance to the championship bracket. Short will give his team a rest-day tomorrow then it’s back to the film room and all eyes will be on Argentina.

Canada plays to a 3-2 loss against Korea in round two action from Terrassa. Photos/Yan Huckendubler




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