The trinidad Guardian / T&T senior men’s indoor hockey squad winless run at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup was extended to eight matches after losing their first two Pool A matches at the fifth edition of the 12-team competition which flicked off at the 7,000 seater Max-Schmeling-Halle, in Berlin, Germany, yesterday.
Beaten in all six matches when they made their debut at the 2007 edition in Vienna, Austria, the Solomon Eccles-captained ‘Calypso Stickmen’, the lowest ranked team in the competition at 18th, were first outplayed by world sixth ranked Czech Republic 7-2 before blowing a 3-0 inside the first 15-minutes of an 11-5 defeat at the hands of fifth ranked Poland.
Against the fifth placed finishers last time out Czech Republic, the Raphael Govia-coached T&T team, reigning Pan American Cup Indoor champions found itself down 5-0 inside the first 15 minutes.
For the Europeans, which featured seven players in their squad over 30 years, Jakub Kyndl opened the scoring in the third minute and added a second in the ninth to make it 4-0 after team-mates David Vacek (fourth) and Lukas Plochy (sixth) had added their names to the scoresheet while Tomas Prochazka added the fifth item in the 14th,
Four minutes before the half-time interval of the 40-minutes contest Martin Seeman extended the advantage to 6-0.
The second-half saw a more relaxed T&T team coupled with a better all-round team effort.
However, eight minutes after the restart Vacek netted his second for a comfortable 7-0 while T&T Defence Force’s Shaquille Daniel fired in the ‘Calypso Stickmen’ first goal of the competition in the 36th while Malvern’s Kristien Emmanuel added another on the stroke of full-time for T&T.
Poland overcomes T&T’s quick start
T&T entered its second match of the day against a stunned Poland team which went under to 11th ranked Australia 5-3 in the day’s first session with the aim of a making a much improved showing.
And it seemed the biggest shock result of the competition’s opening day was in the making as T&T captain Solomon Eccles of Petrotrin handed his team an eighth minute lead from a penalty-corner play while team-mate and Defence Force’s Mickell Pierre scored in the ninth and 14th minutes for a 3-0 lead.
But Poland managed to close the gap to a goal at the end of the first-half after Krystian Makowski (19th) and Michal Kasprzyk (20th) scored in quick succession.
The second 20-minute period saw an all-out attack from the Poles as Kasprzyk drew his team level in the 22nd minute only for Queen’s Park Cricket Club’s Aidan De Gannes to restore T&T’s slim lead at 4-3 a minute later.
The see-saw contest then turned Poland’s way for good as Artur Mikula then replied within seconds to level the match at 4-4 before Tomasz Gorny’s double in the 24th minute put them 6-4 ahead.
Fatima’s Jordan Vieira kept T&T in the match with a 27th minute goal for a 6-5 deficit, however, that was as close as his team would get in the final session as Phillip Weide (28th & 37th) and Mikula with two more items in the 32nd and 39th to complete his hat-trick followed by a Mateusz Poltaszewski 40th minute item completed the remarkable fightback for the winners, three-time competition runner-up and 2015 seventh placed team.
Today, T&T will return to action against 11th ranked Australia at 10.05am and 16th ranked Kazakhstan at 5.05pm before closing out the round-robin series versus host Germany on February from 11.50am. The Australians had a mixed day yesterday and were beaten in their second match by champions Germany 7-1, while Kazakhstan are winless after losing to the Germans 15-0 and Czech Republic, 7-3.
Pool A comprises Austria, Belgium, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and Russia. At the end of the round-robin phase, the top four teams in each pool will advance to the quarter-finals followed by the semifinals on February 10, and the third place play-off and final a day later.
Pool A Germany 15 bt vs Kazakhstan 0 Czech Republic 7 bt T&T 2 Australia 5 bt Poland 3 Poland 11 bt T&T 5 Czech Republic 9 bt Kazakhstan 3 Germany 7 bt Australia 1 Pool B Russia 5 bt South Africa 0 Ireland 5 bt Switzerland 1 Austria 7 bt Belgium 2 Switzerland 3 bt Russia 1 Austria vs South Africa Belgium vs Ireland Today’s matches Pool A Czech Republic vs Germany, 7.30am Kazakhstan vs Poland, 7.45pm T&T vs Australia, 10.05am Poland vs Germany, 2.30pm Australia vs Czech Republic, 4.50pm T&T vs Kazakhstan, 5.05pm Pool B Belgium vs Russia, 8.40am Switzerland vs South Africa, 8.55am Ireland vs Austria, 9.50am South Africa vs Ireland, 2.45pm Switzerland vs Belgium, 3.40pm Russia vs Austria, 3.55pm
T&T’s Stickmen fall to Czech Rep., Poland
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