More than a few aspects of game 6 left Team Canada disgruntled, as they lost by a score of 3-1 to India. The first was the fact that they had a good opportunity to win their first match of the series but let it go as the game wound down.
Starting the second half down 1-0 despite having more of the ball in the first, the Canadians applied pressure early. In the 39th minute, Ranjeev Deol took a great feed from Gabbar Singh and just missed the top of the net on a beautiful backhand shot. Then in the 48th minute, after a strong push, Canada was awarded a penalty stroke when India dangerously played the ball with a high stick inside the D. Canada’s Singh tied the game at 1-1 with a shot to the stick side that just squeaked in.
The remainder of the game was a little sloppy for the home side, and India’s Sarwanjit Singh scored the backbreaking go ahead goal off a costly turnover in the 57th minute. This seemed to deflate the Canadians and there was no strong reply on this day.
Canadian coach Alan Brahmst strongly felt that Canada squandered game 6: “It was 1-1, we had a bit of the flow and we had some opportunities but then we simply threw the game away by being not very calm out of the back and playing it into them. We caused turnovers and counter-attackss; we can’t play like that.”
Matt Peck started his second game of the series in net for Canada and he made a number of good saves to keep his team within striking distance. In the 37th minute, on a penalty corner, he stopped the low stick side flick attempt and then robbed India of what appeared to be a certain goal on the rebound. And in the 67th minute, he would make an even more spectacular save on an Arjun Halappa shot coming from the top of the circle to keep the game within one goal.
Canada was awarded zero penalty corner opportunities, while India had six. The visitors scored on none of those chances, however, as Canada played them aggressively and nullified the lethal shot of Sandeep Singh.
It was a big night for three Canadian players as they reached important milestones with the international squad. Ian Smyth played in his first match wearing Canadian colours, and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“It was a phenomenal feeling. It’s like you dream all about, playing in front of the home crowd, and I had a wonderful time. It’s a great group of guys and we threw it all out there.” Very early in the match, Smyth nearly wrote a storybook debut, as he took a diving shot on a cross from Scott Sandison.
Both Ranjeev Deol and Scott Sandison earned their 150th caps, and they were both proud to have done so for their country.
With the seventh and final game of the 7 Test Series against India coming up on Saturday, Sandison had this to say, “We’ve played really well over this series. We’ve squandered a few opportunities and now we’re looking at going down without a win, but I don’t think this group’s going to let it happen. I think we’ve got a lot of character, and I’m looking forward to the next game, really.”
Last game of the 7-Test Series is Saturday at 2 p.m.
20’ – IND Singh, Shivendra (FG) 1-0 India
47’ – CAN Singh, Gabbar (PS) 1-1
54’ – IND Singh, Sarwanjit (FG) 2-1 India
65 – IND Singh, Shivendra (FG) 3-1 India
Source: FHC / Omar Rawji
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