The Hockey5s era has officially gotten underway in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, as 10 teams took to the field on Day 1 of the Hero FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2022, with the Lac Leman providing a serene backdrop, in contrast to the unceasing thrill of Hockey5s being played on the field right next to it!
The day started off with a bang, with the Swiss men’s team scoring in the final seconds to draw 4-4 against Malaysia, after having trailed 4-1 with just 5 minutes left in the contest. The women’s team did one better, also overcoming an early deficit to win their first contest against Poland by a 3-1 scoreline.
Two great results got the home crowd going early and it was a perfect precursor to the action that was to follow the rest of the day. The crowd was further entertained early as what followed was the “Grass meets Ice” exhibition match between Lausanne Hockey Club (ice hockey) players and a special FIH team!
An early upset followed the exhibition match through a win by Uruguay over India in the women’s competition, but it was proof of the notion that Hockey5s make for an open contest with any team having a good chance of beating their opponent on the day. There were further upsets on the card through the day as Poland registered a thumping 5-0 win over a more fancied Malaysian men’s team, while the pre-tournament favourites, Indian eves, suffered a second consecutive loss at the hands of Poland.
Pakistan and Indian men took wins in their first matches against Poland and Switzerland respectively, which set up the much-awaited clash between the two classic hockey rivals. The crowd filled in and the atmosphere was at its liveliest, and the two Asian hockey giants did not disappoint with a thrilling contest that ended in a 2-2 draw, but was not lacking in action, with Pakistan scoring an equaliser with just 30 seconds left in the game after India had taken a 2nd half lead.
With the top 2 teams in each of men’s and women’s category, going straight into the finals tomorrow, the value of each point and each goal is massive for all teams.
The points table in the Men’s category currently has Poland (3 games played) on top after their 2 consecutive wins against Malaysia and Switzerland, following an early loss to Pakistan. Pakistan and India sit on 2nd and 3rd positions respectively with 4 points apiece, having played 1 fewer game than Poland and Switzerland. Switzerland sit in the 4th position with 1 point from 3 games ahead of Malaysia who have 1 point from 2 games played.
In the Women’s competition, Uruguay sit in the first place having registered 2 wins in 2 games, with a 4-0 win in their second contest over hosts Switzerland, who themselves sit in the 2nd place with 2 wins out of 3 beating South Africa and Poland before falling to Uruguay late in the day. South Africa are placed third after a win in the last game of the day against Poland, who are placed 4th ahead of India who are pointless after 2 defeats in 2 games.
On the occasion of the first FIH Inclusion and Diversity Day, the following statement has been read out by players of the national squads during the opening ceremony.
A lot more of scintillating Hockey5s action to come tomorrow as the teams will all complete their set of 4 league games, before the top two teams go ahead to play the finals!
Hero FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2022 (Men)
(M) SUI 4-4 MAL
(M) PAK 4-2 POL
(M) IND 4-3 SUI
(M) MAS 0-5 POL
(M) PAK 2-2 IND
(M) POL 3-2 SUI
Hero FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2022 (Women)
(W) SUI 3-1 POL
(W) IND 3-4 URU
(W) RSA 1-3 SUI
(W) IND 1-3 POL
(W) URU 4-0 SUI
(W) POL 2-5 RSA