New Delhi, 14 December 2013: Canada and Egypt, the two lowest ranked teams entering the competition could not pull upset, though they gave some tough fights during the tournaments and ended up playing each other for avoiding the wooden of the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 in New Delhi.
Play started slowly in the midday heat, then Canada took a slight edge on the proceedings; but at the end of game Egypt were the worthy winners with score board reading 3-0 in favor of them.
Egypt Coach, Ali Alielshorbagy will take the tournament learning back home to work on game and come back as a better team in future, and said, “Post the disappointing performance by the team in this tournament we did not want to finish at the bottom of the table hence winning today’s match was essential. While we did not enter the tournament for the 15th position but we will take this as learning and work on our game and come back as a better team. The boys played well today and I am happy with the efforts that the team put in. Also the Canada team did not play up to their capabilities and they did not play their normal game.”
Canada had the first opportunity on penalty-corner but Gordon Johnston was too slow to deliver his flick and the Egyptian runners thwarted his attempt.
Egypt had a long period of domination during which they created havoc in the Canadian defense but could not deliver the final blow. Canada had trouble untangling from the Egyptian press when they had the ball and relied more and more on individual runs to progress towards the Egyptian circle. Vikramjeet Sandhu earned a penalty-corner after a long run on the left wing, but Gordon Johnston was again slow to unleash his flick.
Egypt opened the scoring in the 32nd minute by Ahmed Karem, completely alone in the circle after a swift counter-attack and a couple of long passes left the entire Canadian team in no-man’s-land. Canada were caught again on the back foot in the opening action of second period, conceding a penalty-corner. It was well executed by the Egyptians but shot marginally wide.
This was possibly the wake-up call that Canada needed and they started to play with more purpose. They forced a penalty-corner but once again could not capitalize on it. They took advantage of a temporary numerical advantage during an Egyptian green card to earn themselves another penalty-corner but used the same straight forward option countered yet again by the fast Egyptian runners.
Canada mustered some momentum in the final ten minutes of play but scrambled another penalty-corner chance. Egypt was more efficient at the other end and Ashraf Said scored an insurance goal in the 67th minute, forcing Canada to pull their goal-keeper for a desperate last rush. It was however much too little and too late and Egypt were soon celebrating their first win of the competition while the Canadians were left dejected at the bottom of the standings.
Speaking on the loss Canada Coach Paul Bundy said “it was a tough day for the team today and the inexperience of the boys was clearly visible on the field. The boys did not perform well today and this was because of the lack of exposure to play on such a big platform”.