The 2018 Youth Olympic Field Hockey competition will take place October 6-14, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Canada enters the competition as reigning silver medallists and will look to reach the podium for a second consecutive Youth Olympics. Click below for information about the team and tournament.
FOLLOW THE STORIES AND ACTION
|CAN vs AUT||2-3 LOSS||OCT 7||12:30PM|
|CAN vs KEN||4-3 WIN||OCT 8||3:30PM|
|CAN vs AUS||3-6 LOSS||OCT 9||11AM|
|CAN vs BAN||2-5 LOSS||OCT 10||4:15PM|
|CAN vs IND||2-4 LOSS||OCT 11||1:15PM|
|CAN vs MEX (9th)||1-2 LOSS||OCT 12||1:00PM|
FINAL PLACEMENT: 10th place
Despite a flurry of second half pressure, Canada dropped their first game at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games to Austria 3-2. Austria jumped out to an early 2-0 lead scoring goals in the third and fifth minute of the game. It took Canada all the way to the 13th minute to draw even. Canada’s two goals were scored by Rowan Childs and Shazab Butt.
The evening marker wasn’t enough as Austria notched the eventual game winning goal on the very next play. Geoff Matthews, Canada’s Head Coach has spoken about the format of Hockey 5s before and has said that starting strong is crucial for success. In a game where Canada won the final 15 minutes of competition, he said the team will continue to work on refining how they start games and put more emphasis on individual defense. Matthews said he was proud how the team responded to the early deficit. Him and the team are looking forward to the remainder of the event. Canada takes on Kenya tomorrow afternoon as pool-play continues.
“The atmosphere was amazing, and the stadium was almost sold out. Field Hockey is a massive sport in Argentina and we expect brings crowds for all the games.” – Geoff Matthews
Canada jumped out to an early lead in their second group stage matchup against Kenya. Three quick goals put Canada firmly in the driver’s seat. Kenya stormed back in the second half but it wasn’t enough as they hung on to win 4-3. Head Coach, Geoff Matthews said that he was happy with the team’s first half performance as it was a step up from yesterday’s match against Austria. Shazab Butt notched his second goal of the tournament and captain, Rowan Childs put home the eventual game winner in the 15th minute of the game.
Today’s performance was a marked improvement from game one and we will continue to build and prepare for a tough game against Australia tomorrow. – Geoff Matthews
Canada knew defending gold medallists, Australia would be a tough task in this morning’s game but according to Geoff Matthews, the team still felt confident heading into the match. Canada went down early as Australia capitalized on four first half markers. With Brendan Guraliuk’s two goals and Shazab Butt’s third of the tournament, Canada came back to trail by one. Australia kept the pressure up and delivered the knockout punch with a pair of late goals. According to Canadian team captain, Rowan Childs, the team felt they can achieve a good result against any team in the event including Australia.
Despite the loss, Childs said that the team has continued to improve throughout the event and are continuing to look forward to the rest of preliminary play. Games against Bangladesh and India loom large as the bracket play approaches. Getting into the quarterfinals and having the best draw is of the utmost importance at this point.
“We’ve been improving every game so far and that will be really important to continue. Everyone’s really been enjoying their time here [in Buenos Aries] but we’re really looking forward to our next game. A result there will be massive!” – Rowan Childs
The story for Canada has been a lack of consistent scoring especially when they have the opportunities to bury games. Even in the Kenya victory, Geoff Matthews, head coach of Team Canada said they had chances to put the game out of reach but couldn’t do so. Tied at half against a tough Bangladesh squad, Canada once again fell short of that consistency they have set out to achieve. Despite Shazab Butt scoring in every game so far, the team allowed four second half markers to Bangaldesh. The final score was 5-2 Bangladesh and leaves Canada fourth place in their group at this moment. Butt, the team’s leading goal scorer said the team is still looking forward to their final pool play game. Because of the results and format, with a positive result against India tomorrow, they still have a chance to advance to the medal bracket.
“The next game against India will be crucial as a win against India can still qualify us to the quarterfinals. Looking forward that will be our only focus.” – Shazab Butt
Canada came out this afternoon in a must-win situation against a tough Indian squad that was sitting second in pool B. With quarterfinals on the line, Canada once again came out to a shaky start allowing India to take a 3-0 lead. According to Geoff Matthews, giving up early leads and early possessions makes it very difficult to get back into games, especially in hockey 5s. Canada showed great heart and character fighting back with captain Rowan Childs firing in two goals. It wasn’t enough as India score two late goals to ice the match and end Canada’s medal hope in the hockey competition.
Canada will now face PAHF rival, Mexico tomorrow at 1pm in the 9th place bracket. Mexico defeated Canada in the Pan American qualifier semfinals making tomorrow’s game a PAHF rematch. According to Matthews, the team has showed grit and determination throughout the event but has yet to string 20 minutes of solid hockey together. He has full faith in his team to pull together for the final matchup of the tournament and walk away with a victory.
“The boys have shown character throughout the tournament by coming back into games after falling behind on the scoreboard. I expect that to be no different tomorrow when we play for ninth versus Mexico. We owe it to ourselves, Team Canada and the FHC community to finish on a high.” – Geoff Matthews
Canada’s final game at the Youth Olympics was against Pan American rival, Mexico. Mexico beat Canada in Guadalajara six months ago during qualification. In today’s game, Mexico jumped out to an early lead and was able to hold out until the end despite Canadian pressure down the stretch. Amraaz Dhillon scored Canada’s lone goal in the 2-1 losing effort. According to Geoff Matthews, falling behind early in games was a major contributor to the team’s failure to get into the championship bracket. In fact, the only game in which Canada led at the beginning was against Kenya, the only game they won. This shows the importance of strong starts in games when the matches are only 20 minutes long.
Despite the 1-5 record and the disappointing 10th place finish, the Youth Olympic Games provided these young athletes with an invaluable international hockey experience. As Matthews said prior to the tournament, this event sets up these athletes to go onto great careers in university, club and senior international competition.
“To play at this competition, in this environment; this is an opportunity of a lifetime for these young men.” – Geoff Matthews