AKIM TOUSSAINT notched a hat-trick yesterday as Trinidad and Tobago earned their first win in the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, at the Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany.
The TT team, coached by Raphael Govia, recorded a 6-4 triumph over Kazakhstan in their Pool A encounter.
Mickell Pierre, Kristien Emmanuel and Jordan Reynos were the other goal-getters for the twin-island republic.
Trinidad and Tobago had a 2-1 half-time lead, with Toussaint finding the back of the net in the fifth and seventh minutes, with Yerkebulan Dyessebekov replying for Kazakhstan in the 17th.
The TT outfit stretched their lead to 4-1 with strikes from Pierre (23rd) and Emmanuel (24th) before Kazakhstan responded with a double from Daulet Urmanov, in the 28th and 29th to make the game interesting. But Reynos netted TT’s fifth item in the 31st, while Toussaint completed his treble seconds later.
Nurbol Kozhym scored the fourth goal for Kazakhstan, in the 32nd, but TT held firm until the final whistle.
After four matches, Trinidad and Tobago are in fifth spot, in the six-team Pool A, with three points, trailing Germany (12), Czech Republic and Australia (seven each) and Poland (six), while Kazakhstan are last with no point.
Today, Trinidad and Tobago will conclude their Pool A campaign with a fixture against hosts Germany at 6.50 am.
Poland have a goal difference of plus-nine, while TT have a goal difference of minus-11. The difference is almost impossible to make up for TT to leapfrog Poland and earn a place in the top four, and a quarter-final berth.
Earlier yesterday, TT fell to a 7-6 defeat to Australia, despite a hat-trick from captain Solomon Eccles.
Pierre opened the scoring for TT in the second minute but Adam Seccull equalised in the fifth. Toussaint restored TT’s lead in the 10th but Australia responded with three successive strikes, from Jack Hayes (11th), Troy Sutherland (15th) and Seccull (17th).
Eccles reduced the deficit to 4-3 in the 18th but Heath Ogilvie (19th) gave Australia a 5-3 half-time edge. Hayes got his second goal in the 26th to put Australia 6-4 up, but Reynos got TT’s fourth a minute later. Australia got their seventh goal in the 30th courtesy Luke Noblett and they held on till the end, despite a pair of goals, in the 40th, from Eccles.
In Pool B, Austria are ahead of the pile with 10 points, followed by Iran (eight), Russia, Switzerland (six each), Belgium (four) and South Africa (zero).
Also on today’s agenda will be the quarter-finals, while the ninth-placed game, 11th-placed game and semi-finals will be contested tomorrow. And the Indoor Hockey World Cup will conclude on Sunday with the third-placed play-off and final.
Pool A – GERMANY (6) vs CZECH REPUBLIC (5); POLAND (11) vs KAZAKHSTAN (3); GERMANY (6) vs POLAND (3); AUSTRALIA (2) vs CZECH REPUBLIC (2).
Pool B – RUSSIA (5) vs BELGIUM (4); SWITZERLAND (3) vs SOUTH AFRICA (1); IRAN (3) vs AUSTRIA (3); IRAN (6) vs SOUTH AFRICA (3); BELGIUM (2) vs SWITZERLAND (0); AUSTRIA (8) vs RUSSIA (4).