The tightest game of the day came at the end of the day when Chile edged Canada 1-0 thanks to an early goal from captain Camila Caram. Mexico netted six goals to silence Trinidad and Tobago in the second game of the day and India defeated Belarus 1-0 in the lone Pool A game.
Pool A: Belarus vs India (0-1)
Split by eight spots in world ranking but only one goal on the day, Belarus showed they could stay on pace with No. 12 India for much of the game. Both teams had two first half penalty corner chances with Belarus’ Yuliva Mikheichyk’s low flicks being denied by Indian keeper Savita. In the 26th minute, India’s Vandana Katariya unleashed a back-hand shot that rippled the netting for India’s first goal of the game and Vandana’s second of the tournament.
A scoreless third quarter was indicative of the tempo as Belarus were threatening through the solo skills of Natassia Syrayezhka and India were able to create three penalty corner chances but neither able to score. The Belarussians’ stingy defence denied India any clean looks at goal and continue that composure into the final quarter. With two minutes left in the game Belarus had a penalty corner opportunity. Savita’s diving stick save turned away another Mikheichyk flick and the rebounding shot fired just wide of the far post leaving the game 1-0 in favour of India.
Pool B: Mexico vs Trinidad and Tobago (6-0)
Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Petal Derry sported the captain’s band for her 100th international match today and she was called upon in the opening two minutes to defend three Mexico penalty corners. Michel Navarro found a way to beat Derry, burying a chance from close range to lift Mexico 1-0 less than five minutes into the match. Navarro doubled her tally in the 9th minute blasting a shot for a 2-0 Mexico lead. Eliana Cota echoed the back boards on a penalty corner strike to lift Mexico by three in the 20th minute. Captain Marlet Correa added two penalty corner goals less than a minute a part to give Mexico a 5-0 advantage by half time.
Trinidad and Tobago kept Mexico off the board in the third quarter and were rewarded in the 45th minute with two penalty corners. Mexican keeper Jesus Castillo showed her experience between the pipes, preserving her shut out entering the final quarter. Arlette Estrada’s deflection in the 51st minute lifted Mexico to a 6-0 final score.
Pool B: Chile vs Canada (1-0)
The opening quarter was end-to-end as Chile and Canada showed why they are separated by just one ranking spot. Chile forward Denise Krimmerman was brought down in the circle, resulting in a penalty stroke for her team mate Sofia Walbaum. The low attempt at goal was turned away by Canadian netminder Kaitlyn Williams. Minutes later Canadian defender Karli Johasnsen had the same opportunity from the stroke mark but her flick was well denied by Chilean keeper Claudia Schuler to keep the game scoreless. Chile put Canada under a wave of pressure in the second quarter and in the 26th minute were rewarded with the game’s first penalty corner. Captain Camila Caram tallied on the hard sweep shot that lifted Chile 1-0.
Canada had a rush of attack in the third quarter including their first penalty corner opportunity but Chile showed incredible composure to withstand the pressure. With less than 10 minutes to go Canada had three-straight penalty corners but Schuler and the Chilean defence continued to put up a wall. Canada went to 11 field players in the final two minutes of play but couldn’t find an equalizer giving Chile the two-victory advantage in Pool B.
The Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 resumes with the final day of pool matches on 4 April at 1200h (Mexico vs Chile), 1415h (Uruguay vs Belarus) and 1630h (Canada vs Trinidad and Tobago). All games will have live tweets via @panamhockey