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FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup: Canada starts its campaign losing 1-4 to Spain

Hopes of making its return to the World Cup after a gap of 26 years memorable were dashed by the hosts Spain as the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup 2022 got underway at Terrassa on Friday.

Hopes of making its return to the World Cup after a gap of 26 years memorable were dashed by the hosts Spain as the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup 2022 got underway at Terrassa on Friday.

Canadian women could not bring good news to hockey fans on Canada day as they went down fighting to Spain 1-4 in the opening game of the mega event.

Canada’s only goal came three minutes before the final whistle through Karli Johansen from the fourth and last penalty corner earned by her team. In all there were 10 penalty corners in the game of which four produced goals – three for Spain and one for Canada.

Since 2018, it was the 10th encounter between the two nations. Spain recorded its second win against Canada in four years. In the earlier nine games, Canada had won on three occasions while the remaining five encounters had ended in draws.

Playing before a packed Stadium at Olympic Park, Spain started on an aggressive note by working out concerted moves. The offensives of the home team had the Canadian team under pressure. It started wilting after Spain won a penalty corner in the fifth minute.

Belen Iglesias was on the mark to give the home team a well-deserved early lead. Spain did not have to wait for long to consolidate its lead. Midway in the second quarter, in the 21st minute,  Xantal Gine found the target  from another penalty corner award.

Two more goals followed for the home team before the end of the first half. It was Maria Lopez who made no mistake with a penalty corner conversion in the 26th minute. Just before the teams broke for lemon break,  Begona Garcia worked out a beautiful move to score the first field goal of the tournament.

Though Canada took little longer than normal to settle down yet in spite of dominating the third and fourth quarter, it could not convert its chances to goals. Spain held its ground well till 57th minute.

A slight lowering of guard was enough for Canada to reduce the margin when Karli Johansen pelted home her team’s fourth and the game’s tenth and last penalty corner to make the score 1-4 little respectable.

Spain had the consolation of winning maximum three points in the opening game of pool C as well as of the tournament.

 

Prabhjot Singh

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