On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Surrey, B.C., the largest crowd thus far in the 7 Test Super Series showed up for the fifth test match between Canada and India, and some 2,500 fans were treated to an exciting show. The end result would be a 3-1 loss for Canada, bringing their record in the series to 0-4-1, but to a man, the Canadians knew they played better and deserved a win.
Back in net for Canada for his fourth start, was Vancouver’s David Carter, who played an excellent game that included a number of strong baseline challenges that thwarted a number of Indian scoring opportunities. One of his best came near the end of the match in the 68th minute when he raced the opposing right winger to a stretch pass near the sideline and seemingly hit the ball cleanly out of play.
“It was clean. I’m sure the video will show the same thing,” said an adamant Carter. Unfortunately for Canada, the referee did not see it the same way as he called a deliberate foul on Carter, awarding an automatic penalty corner to India and a chance to put a 2-1 game out of reach. On the ensuing corner, Sandeep Singh, India’s most dangerous weapon, put away yet another goal, his second of the game on a laser shot high to the blocker side.
“He picked the corner perfectly on their third goal,” said Canada’s Head Coach Alan Brahmst.
Until India’s 68th minute 3-1 marker, Canada was very much in the game and going for a win. Their goal came in the 41st minute on a scramble in front of India’s net, finished off by Dave Jameson.
“It was just bumping around in the circle. The goalie batted it in my direction and I just made sure I got my stick on it and put it in the net,” said the goal-scorer, Jameson, of his play. It was an especially exciting moment for him as he had a group of supporters in attendance, who as fate would have it were sitting directly behind the net. Upon scoring, he ran over to the fence, jumping up and down in celebration as they did the same on the other side.
The goal would draw Canada to within one, but that would be their only finished chance, despite a number of other opportunities. Early on in the game Taylor Curran made a quick run up the center of the field to take a stretch feed, but he met a strong defender who spoiled his attempt. In the 16th minute, Wayne Fernandes had a penalty corner flick labeled for the top corner of the net, but India’s keeper, Adrian D’Souza robbed him with a flash of his stick.
Early in the second half, Gabbar Singh passed the ball into the left of the D to Connor Grimes, who crossed the ball just out of Jameson’s reach for a wide open shot at net. And as the clock wound down on the match, Singh set Pearson up for another great chance.
Despite losing, Canada was in a optimistic mood following the game.
Peter Short, one of the team’s veterans, playing in his 126th international match, was pleased with the effort: “We were much happier with our play. It was much more intelligent all around,” he said, feeling that his team came out with more effort on Sunday. “Before the game there was a different feeling, a little more fire in the belly. We just need to concentrate on continuing that sort of energy throughout every game we play. We just have to capitalize on our chances, and that’s been the story of the series so far.”
Team Captain Scott Tupper felt the same way: “We feel like for the most part every game we’ve been doing good things but we’re just not getting the wins. Today our process was quite good, we developed some chances and controlled a lot of the play but there were couple of calls that didn’t go our way.”
Head Coach Alan Brahmst is not concerned with wins and losses, rather, the experience that his team is gaining: “We’re here to do some things, learn some things and play tactically better as we move through this. We want to give exposure to some of the young guys, and we’re doing exactly that. It’s more about the process right now and it’s more about giving confidence to the guys that we can do some good things without our big guns.” He also singled out Scott Sandison and Mark Erickson for displaying especially strong efforts.
With five games under their belt against one of the world’s most potent offensive teams, the experience has been positive so far, and in the words of David Carter, “We can only build from here, right?”
Game 6 takes place on Thursday October 29th, at 6:00pm in Surrey.
29’ – IND Mujtaba, Danish (FG) – 1-0 India
35’ – IND Singh, Sandeep (PC) – 2-0 India
41’ – CAN Jameson, David (FG) – 2-1 India
68’ – IND Singh, Sandeep (PC) – 3-1 India
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