Canada and Uruguay have continued to excel at the women’s Hockey World League Round 1 tournament in Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago), with both teams producing winning displays on Wednesday to virtually guarantee their participation in Round 2. The men’s event has also got underway, with Chile and host nation Trinidad & Tobago establishing themselves as the early pace-setters.
In the women’s competition, tournament favourites Canada (World Ranking: 23) hit double figures for the third game in a row with a crushing 11-0 win over Barbados (WR41). Thanks to big wins over Venezuela (12-0) and Guyana (10-0), the North Americans have generated a staggering goal difference of +33. Sara McManus (2), Brienne Stairs, Marian Dickinson (2), Stephanie Gardiner, Caashia Karringten (2), Jocelyn Mitchell, Poonam Sandhu and Katherine Gillis were all on target for the Canadian team.
Uruguay (WR50), who earned superb victories over the higher ranked Barbados (8-0) and Trinidad & Tobago (2-0) earlier in the week – maintained their fine form thanks to a 5-1 win against Guyana (WR58). Ana Bisignano Binnes, Ana de Maria Lateulade, Anastasia Olave Solari, Lucia Laborde Lapiedra and Sofia Mora Forni established a 5-0 lead for Uruguay before Guyana’s Gabriella Xavier scored a late consolation goal for her team. The result keeps Uruguay level on points with Canada at the top of the table, although the team sit in second place due to their inferior yet still impressive goal difference of +14.
Thanks to their winning runs and excellent goal difference, Canada and Uruguay have all but confirmed their qualification to Round 2 of the Hockey World League. With the three highest finishers from this event earning a place in the second phase, the two sides are currently six points clear of fourth placed Venezuela (WR58), who also have a massively inferior goal difference of -15. Their chances of reaching Round 2 took a severe blow on Wednesday when they lost 5-1 to Trinidad & Tobago (WR27), who have now established themselves as favourites to take the third qualification place.
Day four of the competition takes place on Thursday, with Guyana facing Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago taking on Canada and Uruguay playing Venezuela.
Wednesday also witnessed the start of the men’s Hockey World League Round 1 competition, an event which features Chile (World Ranking: 25), Trinidad & Tobago (WR34), Barbados (WR47) and Venezuela (WR57).
In the tournament opener, top seeds Chile defeated Barbados 5-3, although the contest was far closer than many might have predicted. Chile stormed into an early lead thanks to three goals in just four minutes from Martin Rodriguez, Jan Richter and Ignacio Gajardo before Rohan Thomas reduced the deficit with an open play strike just before half time. Chile’s three goal advantage was re-established in the 41st minute when Rodriguez struck again with another field goal, but two goals in three minutes from Barbados players Che Warner and Cyprian Payne made the score 4-3 with 25 minutes of the match remaining. However, Chile struck what proved to be the killer blow in the 55th minute when Martin Rodriguez completed his hat-trick with a third field goal to ensure that his team got their tournament off to a winning start.
It was a far more comfortable start to the tournament for home favourites Trinidad & Tobago, who powered to a 9-2 victory over Venezuela, the lowest ranked team in the competition. Venezuela were very much in the contest in the opening stages of the game, with the scores being level at 2-2 midway through the first half. However, T&T moved through the gears to establish a 6-2 half time lead before netting a further three goals in the second half to win the game and ensure that they ended the first day of competition at the top of the table. Remarkably, all of T&T’s goals came from open play, with Grant Nicolas (2), Akim Toussaint (2), Shane Legerton, Mickell Pierre, Shaquille Daniel, Ishmael Campbell and Christopher Scipio all registering.
Thursday is a tournament rest day, with the action resuming on Friday with Barbados playing Venezuela and Chile taking on Trinidad & Tobago. The two highest finishers in the round robin tournament will claim their place in Round 2 of the Hockey World League.
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 are being posted to the Port of Spain 2012 World League webpages at the end of each tournament day. To view these sites, please click the links below.
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