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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Dominant Canada spanked minnows USA 4-0 in a match of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup after at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

Alexander Bird (25th and 52nd) scored a brace for the winning team and was adjudged man of the match. Skipper Christopher Tardif (20th) and Flynn Mcculloch scored the other goals.

It was a clinical performance by Canada players as they dominated the match completely giving very little space to the opposition. They created a number of penalty corner opportunities and converted as many as three of those to put the opposition under huge pressure throughout the match.

“At the hindsight we could have performed better considering the strength of our team. We picked our momentum late in the tournament and happy for our show against the USA,” said Canada captain Christopher.

Canada’s Indian-origin coach Indy Shembi also put up a brave face despite a poor show by his team in the competition.

“The world is completely ravaged by Covid-19. Our players back home have to struggle a lot to keep their focus on the game. They also had to raise funds simultaneously in a bid to take part in the mega tournament. Considering all these factors, I appreciate the dedication and determination of our players.

Meanwhile, USA players considered the tournament as a great learning curve for them.

“The tournament, organised at a hockey crazy part of the world, was a great exposure for our guys. Hopefully, they will learn a lot from this experience and use it as a springboard to excel as a potent force in field hockey in coming days,” said USA captain Jatin Sharma who is also an Indian-origin player.

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