Poland stun Canada, France rout Singapore in men`s qualifiers
New Delhi: Poland created the first upset in the men`s competition of the hockey Olympic Qualification tournament by defeating higher-ranked Canada 3-2 while France registered their second successive win in the tournament, spanking a lowly Singapore 9-0 on Sunday.
The 14th ranked Canadians, looking for their second win in the event after their 9-0 mauling of Italy yesterday, were in for a rude shock when Poland, ranked 19th, came out with a spirited performance to register the stunning victory.
Poland seized the initiative by taking a 2-0 lead through two field goals from Mateus Poltaszewski (18th minute) and Artur Mikula (33rd).
Canada, however, pulled one back just at the stroke of the half time when Iain Smythe (35th) scored a field goal to go into the breather trailing 1-2.
Sukhwinder Gabbar Singh then drew parity for Canada in the 54th minute with a field goal.
But Canada`s heart broke when Poland captain Darius Rachwalski converted a penalty corner in the final minute of the match to score a magnificent victory for his side.
Meanwhile, in the second match of the men`s competition on Sunday, the hapless Singaporeans were in for yet another rout after the 1-15 mauling at the hands of favourites India last night.
The inexperience of the Singaporeans, who were roped in as last minute replacement for USA in the event, were at full display for the second consecutive day as France toyed with their defence and scored goals at will to register the convincing win.
Martin Genestet (3rd, 30th, 56th, 58th, 69th) turned out to be the star, scoring as many as five goals including a hat-trick for France, while Sebastien Jean Jean (14th, 41st) , Simon Martin-Brisac (17th) and Fabien Magner (32nd) were the other goal-getters.
Canada will now face Singapore in their next match after a rest day on Manday, while France will be up against the mighty Indians.