After yesterday’s disastrous 6-2 loss to New Zealand, Canada bounced back in great form to defeat Scotland 1-0 today at the 2018 Gold Coast Games. According to coach, Paul Bundy, this was exactly the type of performance Canada needed to erase yesterday’s performance from their mind.
“I think the biggest thing today was that we stuck to our game plan and played our game for the whole match,” Bundy said. “We created a lot of opportunities and generated a lot of penalty corners. Sometimes our game isn’t the prettiest to watch but we did what we had to do to get the three points.”
Canada got on the board with three minutes left in the first quarter as Matt Sarmento tipped in a creative penalty corner set play. Canada continued to pressure earning another penalty corner before half.
The defensive unit of Gordon Johnston, Scott Tupper and Adam Froese did well to keep the Scottish attack at bay when required and goalkeeper David Carter made a plethora of clutch saves in both halves. Johnston said he was proud of how the team responded but is already thinking about what needs to happen next.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, but the guys responded really well,” Johnston said, after Canada’s victory over Scotland. “Now it’s about building on those positives from today and going hard after those three points against Australia.”
In the fourth quarter, a clumsy stick of Taylor Curran caught a Scottish player in the face warranting a 10-minute yellow card. Scotland pressed but Canada held steadfast. With six minutes remaining in the game, Scotland got a breakaway, but Carter was once again equal to the task, charging out to make a huge save. Bundy said Carter looked calm and experienced and came through when he had to.
“it’s just that veteran experience that he has. He knows when to come out and challenge and when to stay back. He understood what was needed from him today and he’s a guy that just knows how to get it done.”
Johnston echoed Bundy’s sentiments regarding Carter’s performance and added that he thought the whole team played well defensively. “Carter had a great game. He stepped up and made some huge saves. The team also blocked a lot of shots and cleared the ball off his pads well.”
Both Johnston and Bundy know how important this afternoon’s game was to Canada’s chances. And they are both already looking forward to Canada’s next tilt with Australia on Tuesday.
Bundy said, “playing against the top countries in the world in big games; this is why we train every day, that’s what we are here to do.”
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Feature photo: Yan Huckendubler