#50 team in FIH World Ranking earns berth to Round 2
Portugal earned a place in the Hockey World League’s Round 2 after a dramatic 3-3 draw and 2-0 shootout win. Portugal knew its spot in Round 2 was secured after getting the one point for the draw, but nevertheless, they put the icing on the cake with the shootout win to finish the tournament with eight points. The loss gave Gibraltar a third-place finish with six points.
The qualification of Portugal is one of the biggest surprises yet in all of the World League Round 1 tournaments. Portugal entered the event as the fourth-seeded team in the five-team group with a 50th ranking, well behind #23 Scotland, the other team to earn a berth to Round 2 from the tournament.
Portugal seemed to have things well in hand at the half, owning a 2-0 lead. But Gibraltar came out in the second half fired up and ready for action and slowly chipped into the lead. Gibraltar capped its comeback with a penalty stroke, taking a 3-2 lead late in the game. But a penalty corner goal from David Franco in the last two minutes of regulation saved the day for Portugal, giving them a 3-3 tie and the key point needed to make it to Round 2.
Scotland completed its clean sweep of the tournament with a 9-0 shutout against Italy. Scotland went 4-0 in the event and out-scored its opponents an incredible 30-0. The Italians finished well out of contention for a place in Round 2, coming in fourth in the five-team pool. Rounding out the tournament was Morocco, which went 0-4 in its outings.
Scotland and Portugal can now look ahead to the Hockey World League Round 2.Back