Canada beat New Zealand in a dramatic shootout while Argentina defeat Japan
Canada upset New Zealand in shootout drama, Argentina defeat Japan
Canada defeated New Zealand in a shoot-out drama with Adam Froese converting the 28th attempt to seal a 8-7 win. The Maples Leafs marched into the semi-finals at the Argentina Hockey Semi-Final in Buenos Aires and will now play host nation Argentina. The Leones walked away with a narrow 2-1 victory against Japan in today’s last quarter-final thanks to goals from Matias Paredes and Gonzalo Peillat.
Match 24: QF3 New Zealand v Canada 7-8 SO (0-0)
The match was goalless after regulation time as both defences stood up to the challenge posed by their opponents. Canada earned the first penalty corner of the match after a Scott Tupper strike hit a Blacksticks’ foot. Gordon Johnston flicked low but his attempt was denied.
New Zealand also forced their first penalty corner in the first quarter but Andy Hayward’s dragflick was saved by the outstanding Canadian goalie David Carter. Scoring opportunities were limited in the second quarter as much of the action took place in midfield.
The match remained tied until the end. New Zealand earned one penalty corner but Carter dived to save another Hayward flick. With both sides looking for a late goal, the Black Sticks probably had the better chances towards the end but could not break through the Canadian defence marshalled by captain Scott Tupper.
The shootout was heartbreaking as it has taken 14 rounds to find the winner. Adam Froese had eventually finished the drama. It is worth mentioning that both goalkeepers, Devon Manchester for the Blacksticks and Carter for the Maple Leafs, had an outstanding evening denying 7 and 8 attempts respectively.
Thoughts on the match
Adam Froese (CAN)
“Our goalkeeper Dave Carter kept us in the whole time. I can’t express how much credit I can give to him, he just played incredible tonight during the game and in the shoot-out. I can’t be more happy for these boys. It’s not about which goal went in, it’s a team effort. I’m so proud of these guys.”
Shea McAleese (NZL)
“No, I haven’t experienced a drama like this before and especially not for the biggest piece of pain, the Olympics. Canada played a good game and we didn’t play well enough. We should have won this game in normal time but unfortunately we didn’t.
Match 25: QF 4 ARG v JPN 2-1 (0-1)
Matias Paredes put his Leones ahead after 7 minutes when he got a touch on Lucas Vila’s fantastic pass. The Leones were in good control of the match but Japan defended hard to keep the score at one until halftime.
In the second half, the Samurais got a few chances through counter-attacks that they could not convert. Despite being the better side for much of the match, Argentina failed to double their lead. Their first penalty corner arrived 8 minutes before the end of the match. Gonzalo Peillat (52’) sneaked the dragflick in under Japanese goalie Suguru Shimmoto to increase the lead to 2-1 marking his fourth goal at this event.
However, the Samurais recovered quickly and pulled one back through Toshiro Tachibana (53’) just one minute later. Japan fought hard to get the equaliser forcing another penalty corner through Hiroki Sakamoto. However, the shot was nicely saved by Argentine goalie Juan Vivaldi to keep the 2-1 lead.
Thoughts on the match
“We are very happy that the classification for the Olympic Games is almost reality. Today was a very difficult match for us. The match reminded me on our qualification match for the 2014 World Cup in Johor, Malaysia.”
The corners and the circle penetrations will be the key to beat Canada. In our pool match their keeper saved a lot, so we need to ensure that we convert our chances.”