|14 August 2013|
|12||Pool B||7:00pm||CAN - TTO||3 - 1 (3 - 1)||Final|
Before the last match of pool play, Trinidad & Tobago were leading Pool B with 6 points (2 wins), with Canada and Chile just behind with 4 points (1 win and 1 draw). Trinidad & Tobago were qualified for the semi-final whatever the result of the game, but Canada needed a win (to qualify in 1st place) or a draw (to qualify in 2nd place then face Argentina in the next round). The Chilean team was cheering for Trinidad & Tobago, as a Canadian loss would push them into a semi-final berth!
Antoni Kindler was called into action early in the Canadian goal, on a deflection from close range, and Canada were dangerous at the other end following a powerful circle penetration by Matthew Guest, to set the attacking tone of the match. Trinidad & Tobago were first on the scoreboard in the 7th minute on an own-goal by a Canadian defender on a long ball hit in the crowded circle. This set-back triggered an immediate reaction from the Canadians and they forced a penalty-corner but, as seems to be very much a trend on this pitch, could not trap the ball properly.
A long period of Canadian domination followed, but the Trinidadians were doing a good job frustrating them before they reached a shooting position. Trinidad & Tobago were dangerous on swift counter-attacks, forcing Canada to keep some deep defenders. Play was flowing back and forth in an entertaining way, but with no shooting opportunity at either end, until the 21st minute when Iain Smythe managed to find the ball in a goal-mouth scramble and propel it in the roof of the net to level the score at 1-1.
With the two teams back on par, Canada seemed to regain confidence and Andrey Rocke in the Trinidadian goal had to manage some hot situations in front of him. Canada expertly defended a penalty-corner with 5 minutes to go in the period and on the next action forced a penalty-corner which they, for once, executed perfectly to take the lead with 2 minutes left in the period. They had time to add a third goal by Matthew Sarmento and went into the break with a two-goal lead (3-1), much to the relief of the home crowd.
Trinidad & Tobago seemed to have lost the spring in their pace at the beginning of second period and Canada were all over the Trinidadian circle, but they could not increase their tally past their two-goal lead, despite some clear chances. That allowed Trinidad & Tobago to progressively come back into their game, with the tireless work of veteran Kwan Browne who seemed to be everywhere on the field, and Canada had to defend a few critical situations.
Canada seemed to go back into a defensive shell with ten minutes to go, conceding 3 penalty-corners in a row, and the ghost of the late Chilean comeback hovered on the Canadian side of the pitch, especially when Mark Pearson received a yellow card. The last minutes of the match were all played in the Canadian defensive end, but they held tight to grab the top spot in pool B and a semi-final berth against the USA on Thursday, while Trinidad & Tobago will face Argentina in the other semi-final.