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Canadian women lose to Spain in return to field hockey World Cup after 28 years away

Karli Johansen, of Canada, moves the ball between Carla Rebecchi, of Argentina, left, and Rosario Luchetti during a women's field hockey gold medal match at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.Canada's women's field hockey team ended a 28-year absence from the World Cup with a 4-1 loss to co-host Spain in Friday's tournament opener. THECANADIAN PRESS/AP-Silvia Izquierdo

TERRASSA, Spain — Canada's women's field hockey team ended a 28-year absence from the World Cup with a 4-1 loss to co-host Spain in Friday's tournament opener.

Karli Johansen, a veteran defender from North Vancouver, B.C., who has won more than 150 caps, scored for Canada on a 57th-minute penalty corner.

Belen Iglesias (fifth minute), Xantal Gine (21st), Maria Lopez (26th) and Begona Garcia (29th) scored for Spain, which is ranked seventh in the world compared to No. 15 for Canada.

Canada last played in the World Cup in 1994 in Dublin, which marked the last of six straight appearances at the tournament. 

Canada's best showing was a silver medal in 1983, with a bronze in 1986.

The Canadian women missed out on the last six World Cups since finishing 10th in 1994.

The 16-team tournament is in Terrassa, Spain, and Amsterdam. 

Canada, drawn in Pool C with Argentina, Spain and South Korea, plays No. 11 Korea and No. 3 Argentina next at Terrasa Olympic Stadium.

Terrassa, which hosted the 1992 Olympic hockey tournaments, will stage the semifinals, third-place match and final after pool play.

Canada qualified for the World Cup in January with a 1-0 win over the 15th-ranked U.S. in the bronze-medal game at the Pan American Cup in Santiago, Chile.

Spain, which won bronze at the 2018 World Cup, qualified automatically as co-host.

Canada returns 15 of the 18 players that booked their World Cup ticket at the 2022 Pan American Cup qualifier. 

Captain Natalie Sourisseau leads a veteran group that includes attackers Hannah Haughn, Brie Stairs and Maddie Secco and defenders Johansen, Sara McManus and Shanlee Johnston.

Canada is coached by Rob Short, who played for the national men's team in two World Cups and two Olympic Games.

The World Cup runs through July 17.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2022

The Canadian Press

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