Germany, Argentina and Netherlands were all given passage to the Olympics from their performance at the first semi-final event for the 2014-15 Men’s Field Hockey World League. The event doubled as an Olympic qualifier for teams which have not qualified from their continental championships. The first semi-final event was a 10 team tournament held in Bueno Aires, Argentina from June 3rd to June 14th 2015.
The group stage went mostly as expected though one upset was Canada’s win over Spain. At one point Canada held a 3-0 lead over Spain and while Spain attempted a comeback during the late stages of the match Canada was able to hold on for a 3-2 win. Another upset was sixth ranked Argentina defeating third ranked Germany where Argentina’s Gonzalo Peillat scored the winning goal with 2 minutes remaining.
The biggest upset of the tournament came in the quarterfinals where the 14th ranked Canada forced a penalty shoot-out against the seventh ranked New Zealand after going scoreless for the entire match. The shoot-out required 14 different attempts from both teams, but Canada prevailed 8-7. New Zealand’s bad fortune continued at the fifth place match where they lost to Spain 3-1. That result could prove to be quite bad for New Zealand in terms of Olympic qualification.
In the final Germany was able to get some revenge after losing to Argentina during the group stage as they easily won the tournament with a score of 4-1. Netherlands took the bronze and third Olympic quota over Canada with a score of 6-0.
All is not over for Canada and other nations as continental championships take priority over the World League results. Therefore if any nation in the two semi-final events wins their continental championship their spot from the World League will be reallocated to the next best ranked nation. With that in mind nations placed in fourth or fifth could still have a chance at qualifying through this process. Technically the sixth place nation will also have a chance, but they will require several results to go their way.
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- FIH. 2014-15 World League Semi-final (Argentina) Results. Access on June 15 2015.