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Chile prove too hot for USA in Pan Am Cup semi-final

August 12, 2017

It was a moment of history at the Pan American Cup as the host nation and world number four side USA were knocked out of the Pan American Cup by Chile, their lower-ranked South American rivals. The result means that for the first time in its history, the Pan American Cup will not be contested by Argentina and USA. It also keeps Chile's dream's of a place at the Women's World Cup next year very much alive.

The team ranked 20 in the world will now face Argentina in the final – a team that has won every edition of this competition. But for Chile, the prize is great. If they beat their illustrious opponents in the final, they will qualify for the Women’s World Cup in London. Both USA and Argentina have already qualified for the Women's World Cup through their performances at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

(Match reports: Ali Baggott/PAHF)

Argentina vs Canada 4-1

In the first semi-final of the day, Argentina faced Canada. It did not take long for Las Leonas to hit their stride as Maria Ortiz scored in the sixth minute, beating the Canadian defenders to a loose ball. Noel Barrionuevo added to the score with her third penalty corner attempt to give the world number three side a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Argentina dominance continued as Julia Gomes gave Argentina a 3-0 lead in the 35th minute, but the world No. 19-ranked Canadians were not giving up as Karli Johansen brought the score to 3-1 with a low strike into the corner of the goal. In the 58th minute Argentina sealed the game as Barrionuevo’s penalty corner flick hit a Canadian body on the line. The expert defender made no mistake from the stroke mark for her second of the game and a final score of 4-1.

USA vs Chile 3-4

The second semi-final was a 60-minute thriller, with back-to-back goals in the last two minutes of play. Denise Krimerman scored with less than 20 seconds on the clock to power Chile to a 4-3 win over USA, marking the first time ever that the Pan American Cup final will not involve Argentina and USA and the first time Chile has ever won against USA in official competition.

It was end-to-end action right off the bat as USA earned their first penalty corner just seconds in to the game. Ashley Hoffman’s flick bounced into the bottom corner sending the packed stands at Spooky Nook into a roar. Chile fought back as Manuela Urroz crafted her way through the circle. Her shot was blocked but the loose ball was smashed in by Josefa Salas to bring the the game to 1-1. Chile extended their lead in the 20th minute when Urroz deflected a pass sent into the circle. USA brought the game back to 2-2 after sustained pressure. Kat Sharkey’s penalty corner strike was saved by the pads of ‘keeper Claudia Schuler but the ball popped loose for Erin Matson to sweep in leaving the game 2-2 at half time.

Denise Krimerman was next to score. Her shot, though not rifling, found a way past Jackie Briggs to give Chile the 3-2 edge. USA had three penalty corners in the final five minutes of the match, and with 1:28 left on the clock, Amanda Magadan deflected in Michelle Vittese’s penalty corner sweep shot at the far post to equalize 3-3. Not to be deterred, Chile raced to the other end and Krimerman was able to score despite all the traffic in the USA circle. The 4-3 win makes Pan American and Chilean history as Chile will now play Argentina in the final, while USA will play the bronze-medal game against Canada. Both games will be played on Sunday.

The final matches will take place on Sunday 13 August: 

13:45pm  5/6 Mexico vs Uruguay
16:00pm 3/4 Canada vs USA
18:15pm Final Argentina vs Chile

All times are Eastern Standard Time

All matches are streamed live via USA Field Hockey here and you can stay connected on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @panamhockey or online at panamhockey.org.

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