In their first ever World Championship match, Lebanon came close to claiming at least a point against the favorites from Great Britain.
After a nervous performance in the first minutes, Alexander Haddad successfully converted one of the Lebanese chances after a rebound and opened the score. This goal against immediately woke up the, until then, sleeping British Lions who from there started creating chances. However, they weren’t able to even the score.
In the second period, the British were again able to force some powerplays and built up the pressure, which eventually led to an equaliser scored by Zach Wilson in the 22nd minute. At the end of the 2nd period, Team Great Britain received a great opportunity to take the lead – a 2 minute-long 5 on 3 powerplay. After a British penalty made it a 4 on 3 powerplay, it still provided a tremendous opportunity tie the game. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 14 seconds before the end of the period that they took advantage of having an extra man on the rink with Wright scoring the leading goal, 2-1.
Those who attended this B pool match were rewarded with tense third period, as Lebanon were trying to take the gamble and score a historic goal, which would secure them their first ever World Championship point and a source of enthusiasm for their upcoming performances. Nevertheless, Marc-Anthony Haber missed the biggest Lebanese opportunity – a shot right from the slot with only 3 seconds on the clock, and full credit to Marchetti, the goalkeeper for Great Britain, for the save of the game.
Lebanon are not giving up though, as their head coach Ralph Melki, suggested, the whole team felt butterflies in their stomachs and were really grateful to have the opportunity to compete on the highest level and to be present in Pardubice and soak in the atmosphere of the event. The team is motivated and excited to play against Bermuda tomorrow, on the 3rd of June at 6.00 p.m. and continue in their work, Melki said.
The Lebanese captain Bassil Boulous did not regret the missed opportunity, as he felt during the post-game interview that Lebanon represented a proper threat to all teams in their group. “Our goal today was to show that Lebanon can play hockey and we did that today. We have four lines which are quick, fast, and that’s the point of our game and we are going to keep doing that.” Boulous concluded.