It was a frustrating start for players, officials and spectators alike on Day 1 of the men’s Hockey World League Round 1 competition in Lousada, Portugal, as poor weather resulted in only one of the two scheduled matches being completed.
In the first match of the day, a solitary strike from Ryan Casciaro gave Gibraltar a 1-0 win over Morocco. Cascario made a dramatic impact on the game when he came onto the field as a substitute in the 13th minute before rattling in what proved to be the match winning goal from a penalty corner just three minutes later.
The second and final match of the day featured Italy and Portugal, but the deteriorating weather conditions resulted in the game being abandoned with the host nation holding a narrow 2-1 advantage.
Portugal established a 2-0 lead inside seven minutes thanks to an unfortunate own goal from Italy’s Patricio Mongiano and a penalty corner strike from David Franco. However, Italy pulled themselves back into the match in the 15th minute when Mongiano atoned for his earlier misfortune with a well taken penalty corner. Despite the appalling weather conditions, the match continued until half time when the match officials decided that enough was enough and halted proceedings.
Tournament Director Harald Steckelbruck has confirmed that the second half of the contest between Italy and host nation Portugal will be completed on Friday morning at 11:00 (West European Summer Time).
The competition resumes on Wednesday when tournament favourites Scotland make their World League debut against Morocco at 14:30 before Gibraltar play Italy at 16.45.
The men’s Hockey World League competition in Lousada is the fifth of nine Round 1 events, following tournaments in Czech Republic, Singapore, Wales and Ghana. Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Qatar and Fiji will host the four remaining competitions later in the year. The top two teams from this event will secure qualification for the Round 2 competitions which begin early in 2013.
For those not in the know, the Hockey World League has been developed by the FIH to present hockey at its best whilst also providing rapidly improving hockey nations with a stage to show what they are capable of. The tournament has four rounds which take place between August 2012 and February 2013, with each round acting as a qualifier for the next.
This process gives every team the potential reach the tournament final. The Hockey World League also acts as the qualification competition for the FIH World Cups which take place in 2014, with 12 qualification places up for grabs. To read more information about the aims and structure of the tournament, please click here.Official match reports from the competition will be posted to the Lousada 2012 World League webpage at the end of each tournament day. For real-time results, please follow the FIH World League Twitter feed www.twitter.com/World_League1 or use the hashtag search: #World_League1
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