Canada's Ken Pereira in full flow against Trinidad & Tobago
Canada's Ken Pereira in full flow against Trinidad & Tobago
(Photo: FIH / Yan Huckendubler)

The U.S. suffered a shock defeat against Cuba, a team 25 places beneath them in the FIH World Rankings on Day 1 action at the Pan American Games. In other action, Canada, Chile and Argentina were the big winners. Full details of the matches can be found below.


Pool A: Canada crushes Trinidad & Tobago 7-2
Day 1 of the Men’s Pan American Games Hockey Competition began with Canada and Trinidad and Tobago. Prior to the match, Jagdesh Gill of Canada was honored for his first international cap. Just one minute into the match, Trinidad and Tobago’s Christopher Scipio sent a strike to give Trinidad and Tobago the early lead. This lead did not last long as Canada’s Matthew Guest scored right off the restart. Thus, the score was tied 1-1 just a few minutes into the match.

Canada took the first penalty corner of the match nearly 25 minutes into action and Scott Tupper converted to put Canada ahead 2-1. Canada’s Iain Smythe made the score 3-1 just three minutes later. Trinidad and Tobago continued to pressure, but Canada went ahead 4-1 off another Smythe goal. Trinidad and Tobago did not let up and off their first penalty corner of the match Kwandwane Browne scored to pull within two of Canada at halftime.

The second half started with a quick goal by Guest to make the score 5-2. Canada continued to have the offensive edge for much of the second half. In the 46th minute, Smith made the score 6-2.  Trinidad and Tobago’s keeper Karlos Stephen saved a few penalty corner shots by Canada. Canada kept up their offensive pressure and went ahead 7-2 over Trinidad and Tobago off a field goal by Philip Wright in the 62nd minute.


Pool A: Barbados thrashed 9-1 by rampant Chile
Chile and Barbados played in the second men’s match. Prior to the match, Chile’s keeper Mathias Anwandter was honored for his 100th cap. Chile got off to a quick 1-0 lead off a penalty corner goal by Jan Richter in the 3rd minute. Chile continued its offensive pressure and increased the lead off a Martin Rodriguez field goal. Chile went ahead 4-0 over Barbados off two more penalty corner goals by Richter in the 13th and 22nd minutes. Despite being down four, Barbados did not let up and earned a series of penalty corners at the end of the first half. Chile’s defence held strong and Barbados could not capitalize and the score remained 4-0 in Chile’s favour at the break.


Barbados continued to play defence well in the second half, and kept Chile from converting. Five minutes into the half, Barbados’ Jemar Small received a yellow card. In the 43rd minute, Barbados got on the scoreboard from a field goal by Captain Aaron Forde, however Chile hit straight back and made it 5-1 off another penalty corner goal by Richter. Soon after, Chile’s Captain Esteban Krainz converted a penalty stroke to give Chile a five-goal lead. Chile’s Sven Richter made the score 7-1 in the 53rd minute. For much of the rest of the second half, Barbados played strong defense to keep Chile from scoring further. Krainz converted another penalty in the 67th minute to make the score 8-1. Chile persisted and went ahead 9-1 a minute later thanks to an Alexis Berczely goal, completing the scoring.


Pool B: Awesome Argentina hit eight past hosts Mexico
In the third match,  Argentina played host Mexico. Argentina took quick 1-0 lead off a field goal by Matías Paredes. Argentina controlled possession and pressured on attack. Mexico played strong and kept Argentina from significantly entering their attacking circle. The fans erupted whenever Mexico touched the ball. Mexico got a penalty corner with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, but could not convert. Mexico had few offensive opportunities, but its defence held strong, giving Argentina headaches. Eventually, Argentina’s persistence paid off and they went ahead by two off a field goal by Lucas Cammareri. Argentina continued its  pressure, but Mexico held off a few penalty corners. Yet, with les than one minute remaining in the first half, Argentina’s Ignacio Bergner penalty corner goal put Argentina ahead of Mexico 3-0 at the half.


Argentina continued to dominate possession in the second half; but again Mexico was tough on defense. Mexico had a few penalty corner opportunities but could not convert. Argentina went up 4-0  off another penalty corner goal by Bergner in the 48th minute. Argentina quickly increased their lead to 7-0 over Mexico with three goals in three minutes from goals by Bergner, Lucas Vila, and another by Paredes. The Argentina lead increased to 8-0 off a Juan Lopez goal. With Mexico unable to get on the scoreboard, the final score was 8-0 to Argentina.



Pool B: Cuba stun USA 4-2

The final match of the day saw a fascinating contest between USA and Cuba. Cuba began the match well and had more possession, but the U.S. defence held strong. Cuba made its breakthrough midway through the first half thanks to a penalty stroke from Heriberto Gomez. Cuba continued to look very dangerous in attack for the remainder of the half, but that did not stop USA from pulling themselves level when Will Holt slammed home a last-gasp penalty corner to tie the score at the break.

USA came out fighting at the start of the second half and established a 2-1 lead when Holt converted a second penalty corner. Their lead was cancelled out in the 49th minute when Cuba’s Gomez Sardut fired home before  Yoandy White put the Cubans ahead four minutes later with a well taken field goal. Cuba was on the rise, and produced the killer blow in the 56th minute when Yuri Perez netted a penalty corner to make the score 4-2. It proved to be a enough for a stunning victory for a team ranked 45th in the FIH World Rankings, defeating an opponent which currently sits 25 places above them. 


The results for the tournament thus far can be found below. All official tournament information including results, tables, match sheets, reports and photos can be found on the website of the Pan American Hockey Federation by clicking the following link: http://www.panamhockey.org/en/competitions 

Results
Wednesday 19th October 2011
09:00     Women's Group A Game 1          Argentina v Trinidad & Tobago    11-0 (6-0)
11:00     Women's Group A Game 2          Canada v Barbados                      10-0 (6-0)     
14:00     Women's Group B Game 3          United States v Mexico                   5-0 (3-0) 
16:00     Women's Group B Game 4          Chile v Cuba                                     6-0 (3-0)


Thursday 20th October 2011
09:00     Men’s Group A Game 1          Canada v Trinidad & Tobago              7-2 (4-2)
11:00     Men's Group A Game 2          Chile v Barbados                                   9-1 (4-0)
14:00     Men's Group B Game 3          Argentina v Mexico                                 8-0 (3-0)
16:00     Men's Group B Game 4          USA v Cuba                                             2-4 (1-1)

Fixtures
Friday 21st October 2011
09:00     Women's Group B Game 5          Mexico v Cuba
11:00     Women's Group B Game 6          Chile v USA     
14:00     Women's Group A Game 7          Trinidan & Tobago v Barbados 
16:00     Women's Group A Game 8          Canada v Argentina

All times are local (GMT -5)


Hockey at Guadalajara 2011
Who:  The Men and women of Argentina, USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Cuba, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago. 
Where: The Pan American Hockey Stadium, Revolución Sports Complex, 3232 Pablo Neruda Avenue, Providencia Zone, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. (Capacity: 1870)
When: 19th - 29th October 2011
The Prize: The men’s and women’s Gold medalists will secure a place at the London 2012 Olympics.


The FIH website will be posting regular updates of the hockey action from Guadalajara. More information about the 2011 Pan American Games can be found at the official event website: www.guadalajara2011.org.mx