World Lacrosse Championship 2018: Hong Kong’s dream run hits a wall in heavy loss to Germany
Scott Browning’s team struggle despite scintillating form in group phase, but hope to leapfrog Poland in the world rankings
Hong Kong came crashing back to earth after a dream start to their 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship campaign in Netanya, Israel this week.
Scott Browning’s team fell to Germany 12-4 in the top-tier championship bracket and New Zealand 11-9 in ranked play, despite topping the group stages with three wins from three.
Hong Kong swept Luxembourg, Poland and Uganda in the Olive Pool in what is already their best world championship finish to date.
“We’re disappointed obviously – not the result or score we were looking for – but we knew it would be a hard game,” said Browning of the knockout tie against Germany. “That said, we can all be proud of the progress we have made and the way we battled hard.”
A slow start at The Wingate Institute allowed the Germans a 7-0 lead before Hong Kong started to find their rhythm and form from the previous games.
It was much of the same against world number 12 New Zealand, who held on after scoring five vital unanswered goals in the second quarter. Four goals by star forward Stephen O’Brien was not enough for Hong Kong to claw its way back to contention.
“In a tournament like this, you need to have short memories,” said Browning. “This one is over, learn from it and move on. We will rest and regroup for our next game.”
Hong Kong continues in the ranked play category and faces familiar foes Poland on Wednesday evening (Hong Kong time). The 21st-ranked Hongkongers will be looking to leapfrog the 20th-ranked Poles, especially after confidently edging them out 9-7 in the Olive Pool last week.
While Hong Kong is out of the championship bracket, any remaining wins will contribute to their world ranking. The 2018 men’s lacrosse world champions will be determined in the final at Netanya Stadium on Saturday.
A post shared by Hong Kong Lacrosse Association (@hklacrosse) on Jul 17, 2018 at 1:57am PDT