New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Canada recorded their first victory in the women’s hockey Olympic qualifier beating Poland 1-0 at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here Wednesday.
Canada started brightly and had a chance to take the lead from a early penalty-corner but with their regular drag-flicker Diana Roemer still sidelined, they could not capitalise. Shortly after, Kate Gillis managed to run along the back line and sent a perfect cross past the goal keeper, but it rolled tantalizingly on the goal line without anybody able to put a stick on it.
Poland were under heavy pressure but weathered the storm, defending resolutely every Canadian attempt. They survived a few scares, but remained unscathed going into the half-time break, despite an overwhelming Canadian domination.
Gillis forced a penalty-corner for Canada early in second period, but they failed to control it. Canada were still heavily dominating the midfield, applying constant pressure on the Polish circle, but were unsuccessful in scoring.
Canada finally breached the Polish defence in the 65th minute, when Thea Culley, left alone in front of the goal, received a long pass from Abigail Raye and was brought down by the goal-keeper. Veteran Stephanie Jameson made no mistake slotting the penalty-stroke to finally give the lead to Canada.
Poland had a lone chance from a penalty-corner but Canada held their nerves.