After three days of pool action, the semi-final places in the Pan American Cup have been decided. In the first match, to be played at 5:00pm on 10 August, the world number one team Argentina takes on Trinidad and Tobago (WR: 33), while in the later match, played at 7:15pm, Canada (WR:11) play USA (WR:26). This means that both USA and Trinidad and Tobago are still in with a chance to qualify for the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018, were they to triumph in the semi-finals and go all the way to the top of the podium.
Let’s take a look at how the four teams qualified for the semi-finals.
Argentina made short work of USA in their opening match as they struck six goals past their north American rivals. Gonzalo Merino and Matias Paredes both struck twice with Gonzalo Peillat and Juan Gilardi adding a goal apiece. Peillat then proved why he is the world’s best from the top of the circle, scoring four goals from penalty corners as Argentina beat their South American rivals Chile 9-2 in the second round of pool matches. A hat trick for Agustin Mazzilli was the icing on the cake for Los Leones in their 12-0 rout of Venezuela as they won their third and final pool game.
Trinidad and Tobago’s campaign got off to a faltering start as they lost 4-0 to Canada but they got back on track in their second match against Mexico. It was probably the tightest match of tournament so far, as Trinidad and Tobago edged Mexico 3-2 thanks to a late goal from captain Akim Toussaint. Their third match was also a close encounter, this time with Brazil. The team from the Caribbean edged it 2-1 with goals from Marcus Pascal and Teague Marcano. Trinidad and Tobago are looking to better their 2013 Pan Am Cup performance where they finished third.
Canada have made every final of this competition and will be hoping to maintain that record. They got off to the best of starts with a 4-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago, the goals coming from Scott Tupper, Matthew Sarmento, Gordon Johnston and Iain Smythe. In their second match Canada came away with a 2-0 victory over Brazil with Floris van Son and Keegan Pereira each getting on the scoreboard. The third match was the most convincing – a 6-0 win over Mexico. Again the goals were shared around with Johnston scoring twice and van Son, Tupper, Pereira and Balraj Panesar all finding the net.
Completing the quartet of semi-finalists are USA. After losing to Argentina in their opening match, USA rallied and scored five to beat Venezuela and then came through a tougher test against Chile to win 3-1. The goals against Venezuela came from Tyler Sundeen, Alexander Grassi, Amardeep Khokhar, Sean Cicchi and Aki Kaeppeler. The heroes in the match against Chile were: Grassi, Kaeppeler and Deegan Huisman.
On 11 August, in the 5-8 place matches, Chile will play Mexico (9:15am) and Brazil face Venezuela (11:30am).
All times are in 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. You can also keep up with the latest news by visiting FIH.ch or twitter @FIH_HockeyBack