|21 October 2011|
|W5||Pool B||9:00am||MEX - CUB||1 - 3 (0 - 2)||Final|
Home crowd favorite Mexico and Cuba played in the first match on Day 2 of the Pan American Games Women’s Competition. Cuba took an early 1-0 lead over Mexico in the 4th minute off a Yuraima VERA ROJAS field goal. Nonetheless, the Mexican fans kept cheering for Mexico. Cuba continued to attack, but Mexico battled back for possession. Cuba persisted on attack and VERA ROJAS scored again gave Cuba a two goal lead in the 13th minute. Yet, Mexico earned a penalty corner immediately following the restart, but could not get the ball in net. Throughout the rest of the first half, Cuba and Mexico battled for possession and both struggled to generate attacking opportunities. With Mexico unable to convert a penalty corner in the final minutes of the half, the score remained 2-0 in favor of Cuba at the halftime.
The second half began with both teams continuing to battle for possession. And Mexican fans still loudly cheering on the Mexican team. Cuba had more attacking momentum, but Mexico continued to deny sound scoring opportunities. Cuba had a chance to increase their lead off a penalty corner around the 47th minute, but it was blocked by Mexico’s defense. While the majority of play was in Cuba’s attacking half, Mexico continued to keep Cuba out of their attacking circle. Cuba persisted and took a 3-0 lead over Mexico off another goal by Marisbel SIERRA ROSELLO in the 61st minute. Cuba held the majority of possession and forced play in their attacking half for the rest of the match. Mexico did not let up, however, and Captain NAVARRO HERNANDEZ scored Mexico’s first tournament goal in the final minute of the match. Thus, the final score was Cuba 3, Mexico 1 and Cuba got their first 2011 Pan American Games victory.
Cuba’s Coach Hilario YERA DIAZ
On the match…
We began the match playing according to our game plan. It was a hard, physical, match. And it was a more or less beautiful match. Both teams played to 100% of their ability. I congratulate Mexico on their toughness in the match. We knew it was not going to be an easy match and that we would be similar teams. We are improving, we prepared for this, and this is the result we had hoped for.
Cuba’s Yuraima VERA ROJAS
On her emotions after scoring for Cuba…
I am very happy. We trained for this. I thank my teammates who have much desire to win and who made it possible. I am very happy.
Mexico’s Coach San Yusen ZULETA SANDOVAL
On the match…
In the first half, Cuba had many opportunities. We tried to adjust, but we had errors that Cuba took advantage of. We are still a young team with little experience.