Uganda Cranes won their first-ever World Lax game with their 10-9 comeback win over Korea. (Photo: Scott McCall/US Lacrosse)
With group play for the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships continuing on Monday morning and almost into Tuesday, the United States, Canada and Iroquois took care of business as all three teams won their respective matchups in which they were favored. But the highlight of Day 5 of the event in Commerce City, Colorado was the inspiring come-from-behind victory by fan-favorite Uganda, the first and only African nation ever to compete at World Lax.
Despite losses in their first three tournament games against Ireland (17-1), Bermuda (14-5) and France (9-2), and staring down a 9-4 deficit in the second half against Korea, Uganda heroically rallied to score six unanswered goals and earn their first-ever win. The scoring run for Uganda included two goals in the final minute as Patrick Oriana's third goal of the fourth quarter with 36 seconds left in regulation gave the Cranes the historic 10-9 win.
The Ugandan players then made their way through much fanfare to watch the undefeated Team USA (4-0) squad finish off their decisive 20-1 win over England. NLL pro Garrett Thul had two goals and three assists for the Americans, who led 7-0 after the first quarter and 11-0 at half. The hosts now prepare to face the Iroquois on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET to complete group play.
Up late due to a weather delay lasting almost two hours during their hard-fought win against the Australians, the Iroquois Nationals will prepare for their toughest test yet in the unbeaten Americans. Down 8-7 to the upstart Aussies late last night, the Iroquois tied it before the storm break and reopened play with four-straight goals to take control of the game. After allowing the next two goals, the Nationals buckled down and held on for the 12-10 win.
Canada went up against Japan and emerged with a convincing 20-3 result, keyed by six goals in each of the first two quarters en route to a 12-2 halftime lead. Edmonton Rush star Mark Matthews had a game-high five goals and eight points (5+3) while Calgary Roughnecks scorer Curtis Dickson, the hero of their win over the Iroquois, followed that up with another hat trick. Even more NLL players got on the scoresheet as Jordan Hall and Adam Jones each scored a pair for Canada, who will wrap up pool play against Australia on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
With the U.S., Canada and Iroquois all in the Blue Division along with Australia, Japan and England, fhe top two teams in the group standings after tomorrow's games will receive byes to the semifinals on Thursday.
NLL players on Team Canada
Kyle Rubisch (Edmonton Rush)
Jesse Gamble (Toronto Rock)
Brodie Merrill (Philadelphia Wings)
Cam Flint (Minnesota Swarm)
Cameron Holding (Colorado Mammoth)
Kevin Crowley (Philadelphia Wings)
Adam Jones (Colorado Mammoth)
Jordan MacIntosh (Minnesota Swarm)
Geoff Snider (Calgary Roughnecks)
Dillon Ward (Colorado Mammoth)
Mark Matthews (Edmonton Rush)
Jordan Hall (Philadelphia Wings)
Jason Noble (Minnesota Swarm)
Matt Vinc (Rochester Knighthawks)
Curtis Dickson (Calgary Roughnecks)
Zack Greer (Edmonton Rush)
NLL players on Iroquois Nationals
Cody Jamieson (Rochester Knighthawks)
Sid Smith (Rochester Knighthawks)
Brett Bucktooth (Vancouver Stealth)
Jeremy Thompson (Edmonton Rush)
Jeff Shattler (Calgary Roughnecks)
Craig Point (Rochester Knighthawks)
NLL players on Team USA
Mitch Belisle (Minnesota Swarm)
Garrett Thul (Philadelphia Wings)
For more information on the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships, please visit worldlacrosse2014.com.