The future looks bright for Uruguay hockey after both its men’s and women’s teams claimed the 2011 Pan American Challenge titles with unbeaten records.
It came down to the unbeaten teams in Sunday’s Pan American Challenge and in the end Uruguay was able to top host Brazil in a 3-1 thriller. Paraguay finished in third place in the three-team field after going winless in its four games.
Brazil and Paraguay met once in the Round Robin portion of the tournament, settling for a 0-0 draw. That result set up the grand finale on Sunday. It was a fierce battle for possession and attacking opportunities.
In the 26th minute, Uruguay went on a fast counter-attack. Uruguay took full advantage of the chance as Sebastian Castillo scored the 1-0 goal for Uruguay.
Brazil had a strong first half and opening to the second half, but Uruguay did a good job of keeping neutralizing the chances. Despite not having many scoring opportunities, Uruguay took a two goal lead in the 47th minute off a Ignacio Costas field goal. Soon after, Brazil’s Matheus Borges Ferreira scored on a penalty to pull within one of Uruguay.
In the 69th minute, Uruguay’s Juan Manuel Canessa sealed the win with the 3-1 marker on a penalty corner, solidifying Uruguay’s top finish in the men’s side of the 2011 Pan Am Challenge.
Despite the loss for Brazil, there was still a silver lining to the silver finish. Both Brazil and Uruguay are qualified to compete in the 2013 Pan American Cup after finishing in the top two spots at the Pan American Challenge.
Sunday’s first-place game was a rematch of Saturday’s final round robin game between the two top women’s teams at the Pan American Challenge, Uruguay and Guyana. The teams battled on Sunday for the top spot in the round robin, which Uruguay won, 2-0.
Sunday’s game was quite similar to Saturday’s meeting with Uruguay holding Guyana scoreless, this time in an outstanding 6-0 decision.
Uruguay took an early 1-0 lead off a field goal by Lucia de Maria in the fifth minute. Isabel Olaso made it a two goal lead when she had a long break away to draw Guyana’s keeper Alysa Xavier out of the cage and drove the ball into the goal. Uruguay continued to maintain its offensive intensity, and Teresa Viana scored on a penalty corner in the 21st minute to make it 3-0. Guyana had few attacking opportunities as Uruguay dominated possession and the tempo of the match.
Right before the half, Uruguay’s Paula Carvalho put in the 4-0 goal just as the horn sounded. With the victory well in hand, the second half was mostly academic with Uruguay’s Virginia Besio scoring the 5-0goal on a penalty corner in the 42nd minute. Uruguay’s Florencia Norbis shot went in to bring the final to 6-0 over Guyana.
Thanks to finishing first and second at the Pan American Challenge both Uruguay and Guyana qualify for the 2013 Pan American Cup.
For a complete tournament recap with photos, please click here
- With files from Pan American Hockey
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