World Lacrosse Championship 2018: Hong Kong sweep pool to set up Germany showdown
Scott Browning’s team are set to face world No 9 Germany on Saturday after wins over Luxembourg, Poland and Uganda in the tournament’s Olive Pool
Hong Kong left the lacrosse world open-mouthed after winning three from three at the 2018 FIL Lacrosse Championships in Netanya, Israel on Saturday, ensuring their first ever qualification for the elite Championship Bracket.
Scott Browning’s team are set to face world No 9 Germany on Saturday following wins over Luxembourg, Poland and Uganda in the tournament’s Olive Pool.
All games in Group Olive finished, the unbeaten :flag-hk:Team Hong Kong finished at top of the group and will qualify to the Champion Bracket! @2018WorldLax @hk_mens_lax @FILacrosse #lacrosse #棍網球 #roadtoisrael #Netanya2018 #theworldiscomings #揮向以色列 #TeamHongKong #撐自己人 pic.twitter.com/NEPvV7wli1
— Hong Kong Lacrosse (@hklacrosse) July 14, 2018
Before the match, Browning called the Poland encounter “instrumental” for both teams’ qualification campaign and his stars duly delivered; a hat-trick from Stephen O’Brien and a double from Wesley Wong See-hon ensured a 9-7 win over the Poles.
“I’m really proud of the team for how they fought through a really difficult game and found a way to win,” said Browning. “Poland played strong but I think our fitness played a big part.”
The result is testament to the years of physical and tactical refining by Hong Kong men’s lacrosse, who had lost to Poland 14-4 in the Colorado edition four years ago. Hong Kong finished 21st overall.
Hong Kong brushed aside African powerhouse Uganda 16-1 in the final group game one day later, quashing any hints of fatigue despite the Olive Pool having to play one extra match each.
“The physical condition of the team is good – the guys are tired from playing three games in the heat and we will get a good rest before Germany,” Browning added.
Lacrosse’s biggest tournament includes an unprecedented 46 teams competing over 10 days. It is officially the most widely broadcasted lacrosse event in history. This is the first time the quadrennial tournament has been held outside the US and the Commonwealth nations.
Hong Kong face Germany on Sunday at 4.15pm HKT. Their previous encounter was a 21-2 loss at the 2014 worlds.