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Canada end Greece's dream
Our Correspondent | February 20, 2004 16:43 IST
Seven places in the men's Olympic hockey competition will be up for grabs at the Madrid qualifier next month. That was confirmed after Canada beat 2004 Games' host Greece 3-1 in the second match of the play-off series between the two teams in Madrid on Thursday.
For the first time the host country will not figure in the men's hockey tournament at the Olympics. Greece needed to beat Canada, the lowest ranked team in the upcoming qualifying tournament to snatch a place in the Olympics tournament. But a second defeat, after a 1-7 loss in the first match of the play-off, ended their campaign.
Unlike the opening match, Greece came up with a good showing on Thursday but it was not good enough to realize their Olympic dream.
Canada went ahead in the third minute when Ravi Kahlon scored from a penalty-corner. They laid seize on the Greece goal and struck again in the 14th minute through Connor Grimes, who slammed the ball home after Ranjeev Deol's shot was padded by the keeper.
Two goals down Greece fought back and capitalized on defensive lapses in the Canada defence to force a penalty-corner in the 23rd minute, from which Alexander Terzis beat goalkeeper Mike Mahood with a neat drag flick.
Greece attacked for the remainder of the half but without success.
Four minutes after the breather Paul Wettlaufer deflected a reverse hit from Grimes to make it 3-1 for Canada.
Greece were not finished yet. They fought on doggedly but were unable to make any impression on a crowded Canadian defence.