For the fourth time in a row, the final of the women’s Pan American Cup will be contested between host nation Argentina and USA after both teams cruised through their respective Semi Finals in Mendoza on Thursday.
USA booked their place in the championship match with a 4-0 success over north American rivals Canada, with Katie Reinprecht, Kathleen Sharkey, Shannon Taylor and Rachel Dawson netting second half goals.
In the second Semi Final, Argentina’s Silvina D’elia sent the home fans wild when she opened the scoring against Chile with a 7th minute penalty corner, with Daniela Sruoga, Agustina Alberarrio (2) and Luciana Aymar adding four second half goals to complete a 5-0 win. Chile will play Canada in the Bronze medal match.
Las Leonas have won all three previous editions of the tournament, defeating USA in the finals of the 2001, 2004 and 2009 competitions.
The world number 2 ranked team will certainly go into Sunday’s championship game as favourites, but USA have proved on numerous occasions that they are more than capable of getting the better of the brilliant South Americans.
In 2011, the USA claimed arguably the biggest result in their history when they powered to a 4-2 victory over the current world champions to win gold at the Pan American Games, securing a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In other results on Thursday, Uruguay and Mexico claimed a place in Saturday’s 5-6 classification match with victories over Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago respectively.
The winners of the Pan American Cup competition will seal direct qualification to the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. A number of the teams involved have already secured a spot at next year’s showpiece thanks to strong showings at the Hockey World League Semi Finals. If an already qualified nation becomes continental champion, this will open the door to the nations who finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi Finals. To see who has qualified so far and exactly how they got there, you can see our simple guide by clicking the links below.
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