Field Hockey Canada > Canada Surge past Ghana in third round action

Canada Surge past Ghana in third round action

August 2, 2022 | Field Hockey Canada |

Dominant first quarter leads to thorough victory for Canada

It was all Canada in the opening quarter of this Pool A match between the Canadian Wolf Pack (World ranking: 15) and Ghana (WR:31). Two minutes in and Brienne Stairs saw her opening shot fly wide of the post but Ghana had been warned that Canada were out to get maximum points today.

The shots continued to come as Chloe Walton, Jordyn Faiczak and Stairs continued to pepper the Ghana goal. However, in these earliest exchanges Abigail Boye was in good form, getting her body between anything the Canadians threw her way and the back of the net.

It was Walton — scoring her first international goal — who got the breakthrough. Her shot in the seventh minute evading the outstretched leg of Boye to give Canada the lead. It remained one-way traffic for the quarter and Canada’s pressure wast rewarded in the 13th minute when Grace Delmotte followed up on a rebound from her own shot to double the lead.

Madison Thompson made it 3-0 with one minute of the first quarter left and the Canadian team went into the break with a solid first 15 minutes under their belts.

Fourth and fifth goals flew in from the stick of Sara McManus as she made the next two penalty corner awards count.

Ghana finally managed to get into their own attacking groove and receive the pressure on their defence with a quick counter-attack. Nafisatu Umaru was disappointed to see her penalty corner strike well saved by Marcia La Plante in the Canada goal.

Canada defeats Ghana 8-1 in Commonwealth Games Pool A action. Photos/Yan Huckendubler

As the game moved towards the half-time break Karli Johansen found herself in the thick of the goalmouth action. Three penalty corners from the tall athlete were saved and she was unable to send the subsequent rebounds home much to her own frustration.

The third quarter started with a change in goal for Ghana as Bridget Azumah replaced Boye. Ghana won their second penalty corner of the game and, although Mavis Berko’s shot evaded the keeper, it was saved off the line by the Canadian post player. Despite a lot of Canada pressure, the score in the third quarter remained at 5-0, and Head Coach Ali Ghazanfar would have been pleased with his team’s defensive discipline.

That all changed in the fourth quarter as Canada ramp up the pace and ferocity of their play. Brienne Stairs continued to plague the defence but it was Delmotte who struck next, tipping the ball past Azumah. One minute later at Stairs was finally rewarded for her efforts with a well-taken goal to make it 7-0.


The final 10 minutes of play saw both sides scrambling to add to the scoreline. The Ghana team has won fans for the players’ determination to fight to the end of each match and so it was that the crowd rose to their feet when Mavis Berko finally got her team on the score sheet with a well-taken penalty corner. This was Ghana women’s first goal of Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 and was rightly celebrated.

Canada added one more to the scoreline to make it 8-1 when Madeline Secco scored from a penalty corner after a good team referral had turned a decision Canada’s way.

The result means that Canada are now in second position in Pool A behind England, albeit having played one more game.