With South Africa losing 5-1 against Belgium earlier in the day, Canada knew they just had to keep things tight against host India in order to advance to the next stage of the Hockey World Cup. But keeping things close was not what Canada had in mind, they had a win on their mind.
In the first half, India carried the majority of pressure and possession but weren’t without fault. Jamie Wallace, Floris Van Son and Gabe Ho-Garcia led the Canadian attack. Defenders Gordon Johnston, Scott Tupper and goalkeeper, Antoni Kindler protected the Canadian backend and they escaped the first half trailing by one goal.
The third quarter belonged to Canada as they defended well and capitalized on a beautiful counter-attack goal. Johnston smashed a stunning through-ball to Wallace who gathered it up, flipped it to Van Son who made no mistake inside the D to tie the game at one goal apiece.
Floris Van Son is playing in his first game of the 2018 Hockey World Cup. He was named to the reserve list in November and was called up when defender Brandon Pereira injured his knee in the second game of the tournament. He made his mark known by pocketing Canada’s only goal of the game and helping Canada secure the necessary point differential to move on to the next stage.
WATCH: Canada ties the match with a beautiful finish by Floris Van Son
India retook the lead with two quick goals at the beginning of the fourth quarter, taking the wind out of Canada’s sails. India never looked back and added another a pair of markers later in the fourth when Canada was down a man. Once India took control in the fourth quarter, they maintained pressure and cruised to a 5-1 victory. Although it wasn’t pretty tonight, Canada’s gritty three-game effort has been enough to push them through to the knockout stage of the Hockey World Cup.
Canada finishes third in their pool and will likely play against the Netherlands, pending the results from Pool D. Stay tuned for a crossover preview and for viewing information as Canada treks forward in the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar.