In a battle of two Olympic-bound teams, Ireland defeated Canada’s men’s field hockey team 2-0 Thursday in the first game of four test matches between the two teams in Ireland.
Canada and Ireland have both been drawn into Pool B at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, making the four-game series in Belfast and Dublin important for both teams’ Olympic preparation.
The game was fairly evenly played, with 13 corners being given throughout – eight to Ireland and five to Canada.
No goals came from the set piece as Canadian keeper David Carter had an impressive performance in between the pipes.
Despite the Irish holding possession for large parts of the second half, Canada’s defense – led by captain Scott Tupper – did a good job of holding the home side to the outside.
It was not until the 59th minute that Michael Watt deflected a Mitch Darling shot by Carter for the game’s first goal. Only moments later, John Jackson put another by Carter for the two-goal lead.
The two teams will meet again on Friday at 7:30pm local time in Belfast (11:30am PT/2:30pm ET) before the series shifts to Dublin for games on June 12 and June 14.
After the Ireland series, Canada will head to Madrid, Spain for three matches against Spain.