HWL R2 San Diego: Ireland, Canada, Austria & Russia reach final four

March 6, 2015

Thursday (5th March) was quarter-final day at the men’s Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in sunny San Diego, with Ireland, Canada, Austria and Russia all recording wins to keep their Olympic qualification ambitions very much on track.

Ireland (FIH World Ranking: 15) were in sensational form in the first quarter-final, making their title intentions clear with victory over Trinidad & Tobago (WR: 30). Nine different players made their mark on the score-sheet, with Stephen Dowds, Paul Gleghorne and Mikey Watt all grabbing doubles for the Green Machine.

Ireland’s opponents in the final four will be Canada (WR: 14), who earned a 4-0 win over Italy (WR: 32) thanks to a hat-trick from Scott Tupper. Canada’s captain fantastic struck in the 4th (penalty stroke), 24th (penalty corner) and 60th (field goal) minutes, ensuring that his 200th senior international appearance would be one that he would never forget.

The semi-final meeting between the Irishmen and the Canadians – the two highest ranked teams in the competition – takes place on Saturday at 1300 (local time – UTC/GMT -8).

Austria (WR: 22) and Russia (WR: 19) will meet in the second semi-final on Saturday (1515 local time) after overcoming incredibly tough quarter-final challenges from USA (WR: 27) and Chile (WR: 25). A late goal from Dominic Uher broke the hearts of the host nation as Austria booked their place in the last four with a 2-1 win over USA ahead of a thrilling meeting between Pool B winners Russia and Chile, who finished bottom of Pool A. The match was far closer than anyone had predicted, with Chile fighting back on two occasions to secure a 2-2 draw and force the match into a shoot-out of rare quality. The first eight attempts on goal were all successful, but a miss by Chile’s Thomas Kannegiesser proved to be decisive with Illfat Zamalutdinov bagging the crucial goal to give Russia a 5-4 victory.

As well as the semi-finals, Saturday’s action will feature the 5-8 classification matches with Trinidad & Tobago facing Italy at 0830 before USA face Chile at 1045. To see the full schedule from San Diego, click here.

The three highest finishers in the eight-team men’s tournament, which started on Saturday 28th February and concludes on Sunday 8th March, will each be guaranteed a place in the semi-final of the competition, where coveted berths at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are available.  

A total of nine qualification places for the HWL Semi-Finals are available in Round 2, with the top three finishers at each of the tournaments in Singapore (SIN), San Diego (USA) and Cape Town (RSA) all being certain to compete in the next phase. Malaysia, Poland and Japan all qualified for the HWL Semi-Finals thanks to top three finishes at the event in Singapore (SIN) earlier this year. To learn about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, click here.

You can keep track of all of the action from San Diego on the official tournament microsite.


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