Trinidad and Tobago's hockey women will be battling for third spot in the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World Hockey League after a rough 4-0 loss to Canada at National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua yesterday.
The score could have been kinder to the home team had they taken their first half chances, but a defensive display at times lacking energy made it easier for Canada to get into scoring position, evidenced by two unchallenged solo runs and another feed from a long run that resulted in their last three goals.
With Uruguay expected to beat Venezuela after press time last night, that leaves T&T looking for third spot and the last qualifying berth for the second round of the tournament.
T&T meet winless Barbados tomorrow to try and seal that spot. Barbados lost 3-2 in a shootout against Guyana yesterday after the latter equalised for a 1-1 regulation time scoreline with virtually the last flick of the match.
Yesterday, T&T started brightly on a drenched astro turf outfield, and were the more positive, with the first couple of chances at goal. Their defence did not back them up though, and Canada took full advantage to rack up a 3-0 lead by half-time.
Canada were perhaps fortunate to open their account in the 14th minute, a close range effort by captain Thea Culley from close range with her stick perhaps too high.
But the goals that came in the 29th and 34th minutes were beyond question. Poonam Sandhu capped off a nice solo run with little opposition from close in, and then Brienne Stairs knocked home after Marian Dickinson streaked down the right to deliver an incisive pass.
Yesenia Luces (10th) and Arielle Du Quesnay (32nd) each had close chances for T&T in the opening half.
But Canada killed off T&T's chances of a second half revival, when Caashia Karringten flicked in after sweeping from right to left of the penalty area, around the T&T defence, to find prime shooting position.
T&T had the better of the last ten minutes, but the consolation goal never came. Now they must ensure they qualify.