Canada stages field hockey comeback

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

DELHI, India -- Canada avoided a third consecutive loss in Commonwealth Games women's field hockey Friday with a pair of late field goals to stun Wales 2-1 at Chand National Stadium.

Emma Batten's 30th minute goal for Wales was the only marker of the match until Katie Baker of Argyle Shore, P.E.I. sparked the comeback with a field goal in the 68th minute.

"We were getting a ton of opportunities but we weren't keeping possession in the circle or getting into the circle," said captain Baker. "Once we started holding possession and passing it around more, we had a lot more opportunity.

Canada kept attacking as Kate Gillis of Vancouver helped keep the ball inside the Welsh circle, allowing Robyn Pendleton of Victoria to beat Welsh goalkeeper Margaret Rees in the final minute.

"It was a match we had to win," Gillis said. "Going into the second half you're down a goal you actually do anything, even wait until the last two minutes to win it. Perseverance is definitely our game plan."

The win catapulted Canada from bottom of the five nation pool B into a third-place tie with Malaysia. Canada, which lost earlier matches to Malaysia and England, has little time to savour the victory. Group play ends Saturday afternoon against 3-0 New Zealand.

Gillis said her mother Diane was among a small group of Canadians at the match. Father Mike couldn't make the trip to India because he is general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, who opened their 40th anniversary season this week.

"We bought the channel back at home, so he tunes in and I get to give him a call every morning," Gillis said. "He's rooting for us back home."


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