Cross-over 5-8: Cuba – USA : 4 - 1
Cuba was immediately in action and stunned the USA with a perfectly slotted penalty-corner by Yoandi Blanco in the 4th minute. The Americans tried to react but their illusions were dampened by another Cuban goal in the 10th minute. Cuba controlled most of the period, their fast pace and swift passing constantly pushing back the Americans on their heels.
A third goal just before half-time (3-0) gave the Cubans a comfortable lead, but a vigorous harangue by the American Coach during the break had the desired effect and Pat Harris promptly scored a superb goal to bring back some hope to his side.
There was a period of intense American domination but they were constantly shut down by the Cuban pace before having a chance to conclude. Trying to push forward, they left their backfield opened to the Cuban high balls and several counter-attacks were nearly converted.
The USA forced a penalty-corner with ten minutes to go and a goal could have set-up a dramatic end of game, but they were unsuccessful and a 3-on-1 counter-attack concluded by Heriberto Sarduy put the nail in the coffin for a 4-1 final score.
Cross-over 5-8: Netherlands Antilles – Brazil : 8 - 0
The Netherlands Antilles overwhelmed Brazil 8-0, finally showing that they were not only a strong defensive outfit but that they could combine well upfront and score nice goals.
The Brazilians offered a valiant resistance in the first half, limiting the Dutch Antilles players to 3 goals, concluded by an opportunistic one by Raymundo Pereira who pounced on a loose ball in a goal mouth scramble.
The Brazilians didn’t let down their guard in the second half, but could not prevent 5 more goals for a final score of 8-0. The Netherlands Antilles will therefore meet Cuba for the important 5th-6th match, with the winner grabbing the last berth to be selected for an Olympic Qualifier).
Semi-final: Argentina – Chile : 5 - 2
Argentina started the game in high gear and it only took them 3 minutes to find Jorge Lombi in the circle, who didn’t miss the opportunity to open the scoring. The Chileans were affected by this early blow and it took them some time to get back into the game, leaving the control of play in first half nearly entirely to Argentina.
The game was played at high tempo, despite the blazing Brazilian afternoon sun, and both teams played aggressively, with some rough patches. The Chilean defense was holding tight against the light blue waves, and it is only in the 29th minute that Rodrigo Vila collected a rebound from the goalkeeper to score the second goal, for a halftime score of 2-0.
Chile attacked well the second period and forced a penalty corner in the 43rd minute, scored by their Captain Felipe Montegu. Argentina replied immediately by a penalty-corner by Jorge Lombi (47th), but the Chileans were not down yet and came back once again within reach with another penalty-corner, scored this time by Pablo Kuhlenthal (52nd).
After this flurry of goals, Chile felt that they could tie the game and force overtime; they launched a full blast attack on the Argentinean goal, but to no avail. At the other end, Lucas Rey took advantage of the depleted Chilean defense to collect a loose ball in the circle and cleanly slot the ball past the goalkeeper, killing the ongoing suspense.
Argentinean Captain Mario Almada added a sumptuous goal, the cherry on the cake for a deserved 5-1 victory.
Semi-final: Canada – Trinidad & Tobago : 4 – 3 (ot)
Canada tried to start as well as Argentina and created two good chances in the opening minutes but could not capitalize on them. T&T was more efficient by Wayne Legerton, who collected a ball lost by the Canadian defense and coolly lobbed the running Canadian goalkeeper. On a well executed penalty-corner, the same player increased the scoring two minutes later and Canada found themselves two goals down within ten minutes of play!
Things nearly got worst for Canada a few minutes later on another penalty-corner, but they settled down and progressively took control of the play, pulling back one goal by Gabber Singh. They thought that they had scored again on a goalmouth scramble, but the goal was denied by the umpire and Canada received a yellow card for their protesting.
Despite been one man down, Canada had all the pressure and created a number of occasions but botched them by nervousness and half-time was reached on the score of 2-1 for T&T.
Canada was quick in the saddle in the second half, scoring by Wayne Fernandez on penalty-corner, and the two teams were back at square one with 33 minutes left in this semi-final. Momentum was with the Canadians, but they were consistently denied by the T&T defense, tightly regrouped around Kwan Browne. Canada finally scored by Ranjeev Deol in the 51st minute, on what originally appeared an innocuous run along the back line.
The game was far from over, and Wayne Legerton completed his personal hat-trick after stealing a ball from a careless Canadian defensive play. After an interruption of play to solve an umpiring mix-up (red card given to a T&T player then downsized to a yellow), the match didn’t regain its momentum and had to be taken to overtime.
In an emotion charged extra-time, Canada tried to grab control of the game, but their experience was thwarted by the T&T enthusiasm, until Wayne Fernandez broke the deadlock with his second penalty-corner of the game, setting the stage for another Argentina vs. Canada Final, a standard feature at the Pan American Games since 1975.
Posted 1 day ago.
EHL Final Four hosts HC Bloemendaal have been crowned Euro Hockey League champions for a second time after winning a...
Posted 1 day ago.
Den Bosch have claimed a remarkable 13th elite European title in 14 seasons courtesy of a 4-2 victory over defending...
Posted 2 days ago.
Teun de Nooijer’s dream of winning the Euro Hockey League in his last ever playing season remains alive and kicking...
Posted 3 days ago.
An Investec South African women’s hockey squad flew to China late Wednesday for a training camp. The squad will be...
Posted 3 days ago.
Mary Logue has been named as Electric Ireland Irish Senior Women's Assistant Coach. Logue will join up with Darren...
Posted 4 days ago.
Ahead of the upcoming men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Elektrostal, Moscow, newly elected Russian Hockey...