Russia and Switzerland are the 2 European teams currently playing in World League 2 in Tacarigua. It’s fair to say that they are far far away from the continent of Europe, but nonetheless they are working hard to ensure success in a pool with hosts Trinidad and Tabago and Japan (the highest ranked team there).
Switzerland fell 3-0 to Japan in their opening game on Saturday (a hat-trick from Japan’s striker Kenta Tanaka) as Russia opened their competition with a win over the hosts 3-1, gaining 3 valuable points. Switzerland lost again yesterday, this time to the hosts (6-2) and Russia also chalked up a loss to a strong Japan team (3-1).
The two European teams face eachother in a game that will be critical for the final placings in the pool.
All 8 teams will progress to the 1/4 finals, and then it’s down to the business end, knock out stages of the competition, so points on the board will determine who our European teams face in the 1/4 finals.
Like all the Round 2 events, the competition in Tacarigua – which is located around 20 kilometers inland from capital city Port of Spain – consists of teams that came through the first phase of the competition and nations that were automatically given a bye through to Round 2 due to their higher placement in the FIH Hero World Rankings. The highest ranked teams will enter the World League at the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League which will take place in this summer.
The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka (4-12 Mar 2017), Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) are certain to qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events. Malaysia and China took the top two places at the event in Dhaka, with Egypt (FIH Hero World Ranking: 20) finishing in third place. In Belfast, Ireland claimed a first place finish ahead of France, with Scotland (WR: 27) taking third position.
To learn more about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the 2018 Hockey World Cups, click here, with more details about all of the HWL events available by clicking here.
You can keep track of the tournament in Tacarigua on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels using the #HWL2017 hashtag.
Streaming – click here
Photograph: Russia, following their defeat to Japan.