By Ali Baggott for Field Hockey Canada
A goal from Brenden Bissett in the fourth quarter was the breath Canada needed to win the game 5-1 after leading by just one goal for 37 minute of the game. Scott Tupper scored two in the win that books Canada a spot in the semifinals.
Canada opened the scoring in just the second minute of play. Adam Froese’s change of pace as he picked up a ball in the middle of the field allowed him to blow by two Trinidad and Tobago midfielders and find Keegan Pereira at the top of the circle. Pereira dished back to Froese who never changed speed and the ball was sent over to Iain Smythe who completed the passing play in the top of the net and lift Canada 1-0.
Trinidad and Tobago showed a do-or-die level of play following that opening goal and Teague Marcano raced in to the Canadian circle to earn a penalty corner for his side. Kwan Browne’s drag flick took a deflection in to the goal and leveled the game 1-1. Canada was able to come back with a response in the 10th minute as Balraj Panesar blasted a long sideline free hit to Mark Pearson who cut back to the ball. Pearson made space away from his defender and secured a go-ahead goal on a back-hand blast.
A scoreless second quarter was indicative of the play. Trinidad and Tobago had another penalty corner in the 17th minute and Browne’s flick beat Canadian keeper David Carter but not captain and post player Tupper on the line. Carter was also called to action when Kristien Emmanuel’s back-hand shot was sent towards goal but a touch off Carter’s stick denied an equalizer.
In the 27th minute Bissett earned Canada’s first penalty corner. Pereira miss trapped the ball and the consequential shot from near the baseline went wide. At half time Canada edged Trinidad and Tobago 2-1.
Both teams again had chances in the third quarter. James Kirkpatrick blasted a reverse-stick shot towards goal but the ball hopped just past Oliver Scholfield’s stick at the far post. In the other end Joel Daniel caught a Brandon Pereira foot in the Canadian circle to give Trinidad and Tobago another penalty corner chance. Tariq Marcano’s flick is high in to the Canadian defenders.
The intensity was continually escalating and in the 42nd minute time was haulted and the result was a 10-minute yellow card to both Sukhi Panesar of Canada and Marcano of Trinidad and Tobago.
The tension was temporarily alleviated when Bissett netted a loose ball in the 47th minute. Trinidad and Tobago pulled Stephen in the final four minutes of the game looking to get on the board again. From there, Pereira earned Canada a penalty corner and Tupper flicked in a fifth goal for Canada.
Another altercation in the final seconds of play concluded with more cards being dealt as Trinidad and Tobago’s Jordan Reynos and Canada’s Jamie Wallace and James Kirkpatrick were each given yellow cards in the 60th minute.
The emotions were high but Canada ultimately achieved their goal and the 5-1 victory secured their spot in the semifinals where they will place Chile.