Forsyth’s men looking good for World League Round 2 berth
Scotland have moved to the top of the pool table at the men’s FIH World League Round 1 competition in Lousada, Portugal by securing a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Gibraltar, the previous competition leaders. It was the econd victory of the tournament for the team coached by Derek Forsyth, following their 9-0 thrashing of Morocco on Wednesday.
Gibraltar started the match in confident fashion, clearly intent on inflicting what would be a famous defeat over a team 20 places above them in the FIH world rankings. However, as the match progressed Scotland began to assert their dominance before taking the lead when the unfortunate Shane Rammage deflected an Ian Scholefield cross beyond the reach of Gibraltar goalkeeper Sebastian Rodriguez. Second half strikes from Alan Forsyth, Kenny Bain, Chris Grassick and Dan Coultas ensured that Scotland were comfortable winners of the contest.
Despite the 5-0 scoreline, Scotland manager Eugene Connolly was far from satisfied with the display. Speaking to scottish-hockey.co.uk, Connolly said: “The result was better than the performance, we really only played some relaxed hockey in the final ten minutes when we scored three goals."
Remarkably, Scotland are yet to concede a goal in this competition, a statistic that they will want to maintain when they face Portugal on Saturday. A win in that match would guarantee Scotland a top two finish in the competition, therefore securing a place in Round 2 of the Hockey World League.
Portugal were also big winners on competition day 3, storming to a 6-1 victory over Morocco. Carlos Silva scored a hat-trick of penalty corners in the win, with Luis Tavares (2) and Leandro Morais also contributing to the score-line.
The host nation will be hoping to make it two wins in less than 24 hours when they face Italy on Friday morning. The two sides met on the opening day of the tournament but were forced to abandon the match at half time when heavy rain made conditions unplayable, forcing Tournament Director Harald Steckelbruck to schedule the remaining 35 minutes to take place on what was the competition rest day. The match will resume at 1100 (Western European Summer Time) with Portugal holding a 2-1 lead. The result and updated league table will be posted to the Lousada 2012 World League webpage as soon as it is available. To visit this section, please click here.
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