The 3rd Indoor Pan American Cups continued today in Rim Park, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, with the end of pool play and the beginning of the play-offs.
The first game between Canada and Trinidad & Tobago (men) was a spirited encounter despite the early start time. T&T scored first on a penalty-corner, then Canada stepped its game up and scored three goals before T&T got another one with a few seconds to go in the half.
The score was 3-2 at half-time with no clear domination from either team. Goals were swapped at the beginning of the second period, then Canada built up a three-goal cushion, but they stayed under intense pressure until the end, especially after T&T replaced their goal-keeper with an additional player. The final score was 8-6 in Canada’s favour.
Meanwhile, the Canadian women cruised to a steady victory 7-0 over Venezuela.
The game between Guyana and Venezuela (men) stayed tight for most of the first half, with Venezuela missing an equalising penalty-stroke, but Guyana picked up the pace and reached the break at 4-0.
The second half was more balanced and ended with a 5-1 victory for Guyana, which earned them a spot in the semi-final.
The Trinidad & Tobago women got some inspiration from their men's team the night before, and pushed the USA on their heels, leading twice on the scoreboard before USA scored a penalty corner on the buzzer to reach half-time at 2-2. They again relied on their penalty-corners to score three goals in the second half for a final score of 5-2.
On the women's side, USA finished on top of pool play and will play against Venezuela in semi-final, while Canada and Trinidad & Tobago will meet in the other semi-final.
Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana (men) entertained the crowd with a pleasant game that ended with T&T winning 10-4.
On the other court, the game between Canada and USA men was the expected tight encounter, with the score staying at 2-1 for most of the first half until Canada pushed it to 3-1 just before half-time.
The game stabilised in the second half, until USA scored two quick goals to bring back the score at 4-3. Canada had a stronger finish and, with the 6-3 win, ended the round-robin unbeaten,
On the men's side, Canada finished on top of pool play and will play against Guyana in semi-final, while Trinidad & Tobago and USA will meet in the other semi-final.
The play-offs started on the women's side with a straightforward win for the USA over Venezuela (11-0). The other semi-final between Canada and Trinidad & Tobago was more balanced.
Canada had finally tuned-up their penalty-corners and scored two quick ones by Andrea Rushton, followed by two field goals, to build a comfortable cushion. T&T pulled back one goal (half-time 4-1) but could not come back within reach of the Canadians.
With a 5-1 final win for Canada, the stage is set for the final at 13:30 on Sunday, the winner earning a berth in the 2007 Indoor World Cup.
On the men's side, the game between Guyana and Canada was much tighter than the pool encounter. The score at half-time was only 2-0 for Canada.
They then built up their lead steadily, mostly with their set pieces (two penalty-corners and two penalty-strokes), to finish with a 6-2 lead.
With this victory, the Canadian men not only reach the final, scheduled for 11:30 on Sunday, but also qualify for the 2007 Indoor World Cup.
The other semi-final between Trinidad & Tobago and the USA was much closer than the previous day. The USA had obviously learned from their mistakes and kept a tighter grip on the T&T offense.
They opened the scoring on penalty-corner by Pat Harris, but T&T replied with two goals (a penalty corner and a field goal), setting the stage for an exciting second half that kept the large crowd on the edge of their seat,
The two teams traded goals and, with stellar goal-keeping on both sides, full time was reached with a tie 4-4 (although USA thought that they had won when they scored in the last minute, but the goal was called back)!
With a berth in the Indoor World Cup on the line and emotions running high, both on and off the field, teams lined up for 2 x 5 minutes overtime.
There were close calls on both side, but no goals in the first period of overtime.
In the second period of overtime, USA seemed to established better control of the game, but it was Trinidad & Tobago who scored in the eighth minute on free a hit at the top of the circle, from Dwain Quan Chan who sent his team and the Trinidadian fans in seventh heaven!
Men – Preliminary Rounds
Canada 8 Trinidad & Tobago 6
Guyana 5 Venezuela 1
Trinidad & Tobago 10 Guyana 4
Canada 6 USA 3
Men – Semi Finals
Canada 6 Guyana 2
Trinidad & Tobago 5 USA 4 (extra time)
* Canada and Trinidad & Tobago qualify for the 2007 Indoor World Cup in Vienna, Austria)
Women – Preliminary Rounds
Canada 7 Venezuela 0
USA 5 Trinidad & Tobago 2
Women – Semi Finals
USA 11 Venezuela 0
Canada 5 Trinidad & Tobago 1
* USA and Canada qualify for the 2007 Indoor World Cup in Vienna, Austria)
Canada 12 points
Trinidad & Tobago 9
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