Canada remain unbeaten in the Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan after winning their second pool B match 3-2 against France.
“This was a good game for us”, said Canadian coach Anthony Farry. “Kuantan is a very good place to play hockey, we really enjoy the crowd.” Captain Scott Tupper agrees: “It is hard for us to play here because we come from the Canadian winter but here it’s much better than playing at 4 degrees in Vancouver.”
This encounter was promised to be an exciting one as Canada surprised by drawing 3-3 with Korea on Day 1 while France got the better end in their opening match against host nation Malaysia winning the game 3-2.
Canada’s team captain Scott Tupper (4’) started the play that led to the first goal sending a penalty corner shot into the bottom of the goal. However, the Tricolores were able to strike back ten minutes later when Victor Charlet converted France’s first penalty corner. The remaining minutes in the first half saw both teams searching for the lead but both were unable to capitalize on their chances. The halftime score was tied at 1-1.
Canada built a two goals lead in the second half with Philip Wright (43’) and Iain Smythe (58’) getting on the scoreboard. The Tricolores fought hard to bounce back from a 3-1 deficit but could not find the back of the net. After Charlet (64') had added another penalty corner goal to 3-2, France replaced their goalkeeper by an eleventh field player but the equalizer did not come.
“It is difficult for us to play two matches within two days”, said French coach Frederic Soyez. “We are here with a very young team and we want to improve.”