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The Globe and Mail

Canada's field hockey team falls in Olympic qualifying

Canada's Rob Short (R) celebrates with teammate Jagdish Gill as Philip Wright (L) watches after a goal against France during their London 2012 Olympic Games men's field hockey qualifying match in New Delhi February 24, 2012. REUTERS/B Mathur

B Mathur/Reuters

Canada's bid to qualify for the men's Olympic field hockey tournament ended Friday in a 1-1 tie with France.

Needing a win to preserve its Olympic hopes, Canada (2-2-1) went ahead on a goal by Iain Smythe in the final minute of first half.

The French (3-1-1) went on the attack in the second half, missing high on a penalty corner. Fabien Magner finally breached the Canadian defence, beating David Carter from close range to secure the tie.

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Carter was named man of the match.

The Canadians needed to beat France and have India defeat Poland to advance to Sunday's final of the last-chance qualifying tournament. Only the winner earns a berth in London.

The Canadian men played at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics, and narrowly missed earning an automatic berth at the Pan American Games in October in Mexico. Canada needed to win the Pan Am tournament to qualify for London for lost the gold-medal game 3-1 to Argentina.

France will face India, 4-2 winners over Poland on Friday, in Sunday's final while Canada will play in the third-place game.

The Canadian women, already out of contention at the six-team qualifying tournament, lost 4-1 to South Africa on Friday.

Thea Culley opened the scoring for Canada (1-3-1) before the South African (4-0-1) responded with four goals.

Canada will play Poland (0-5-0) for fifth place Saturday while South Africa meets India (3-1-1) with an Olympic berth on the line.

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