New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Poland recorded its first victory in the men’s hockey Olympic qualifiers defeating Canada 3-2 in a hotly-contested match at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here Sunday.
Canada were looking for a second win after clearly defeating Italy (9-0), while Poland were looking for redemption after their narrow loss to France (1-2).
Canada had an opportunity early in the game from a penalty-corner but Scott Tupper’s low flick was deflected wide. Poland opened the scoring, Mateusz Poltaszewski diving to deflect the ball out of reach of David Carter in the Canadian goal.
With two minutes to go in the first period, Poland added their second after a wild scramble in front of the Canadian goal. Canada however, pulled back a goal thanks to Iain Smythe, with five seconds left on the clock.
The match was an entertaining display of hockey, the two teams displaying excellent individual skills and rigorous structure, and danger was shifting rapidly from one end to the other.
Both goal-keepers were called into action with shots or deflections from close range, but the score did not change until the 55th minute, when Sukhwinder Singh managed to extract the ball from a scramble to push it in goal, tying the score at 2-2.
Having come back from a two-goal deficit, Canada had the opportunity to jump into the lead with two more penalty-corners, but they failed to take their oppurtunities.
Dariusz Rachwalski grabbed the winner for the Poles with a penalty-corner forced in the final seconds of the match.