After three more days (days 5-7) of the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship (Men) Argentina, Canada, and the United States are all atop their respective pools.
On Day 5, Argentina and Trinidad & Tobago battled for the top spot in Pool A. Argentina asserted itself early. Behind Captain and 2012 Olympian Gonzalo Peillat’s hat trick, Argentina had a 4-0 lead over Trinidad & Tobago by the 16th minute of the match. At halftime, it was 6-nill for Argentina versus Trinidad & Tobago. Credit to Trinidad & Tobago who, after Argentina made it 7-nill in the 41st minute, played incredibly strong defense. Thus, it was not until the final minutes of the match that Argentina was able to score again; with the final score ending 9-nill with Argentina taking the top spot in Pool A. In their next match (Day 7), Argentina played Brazil. After Argentina’s Federico Fernandez Onega scored just three minutes into the match it looked like Argentina was going to have a large offensive output. Brazil, however, played very strong defense and held Argentina to just three goals in the first half (the other two goals were off Peillat penalty corner shots). In the second half, Argentina continued to dominate possession, but the Brazil defense held strong. With Brazil unable to capitalize off a few attacking opportunities, Argentina won 5-nill. Peillat also leads the goal scorers for the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship (Men). In the final match on Day 6 of the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship (Men), Brazil and Jamaica squared off. Throughout the first half, play was even in the midfield and both teams’ defense prevented the other from scoring off penalty corner opportunities. In the second half, both teams had more penalty corner opportunities, but Jamaica’s shots went wide; and Jamaica’s keeper Giovanni Green made good saves to keep Brazil from scoring. Thus, with either team unable to score the match ended in a nill-nill draw.
In the final match on Day 6 of the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship (Men), Brazil and Jamaica squared off. Throughout the first half, play was even in the midfield and both teams’ defense prevented the other from scoring off penalty corner opportunities. In the second half, both teams had more penalty corner opportunities, but Jamaica’s shots went wide; and Jamaica’s keeper Giovanni Green made good saves to keep Brazil from scoring. Thus, with either team unable to score the match ended in a nill-nill draw.
Also in Pool A, Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala played on Day 7. Playing in their first international tournament Guatemala had less international experience than Trinidad & Tobago. Yet, Guatemala has improved throughout this tournament and had a better showing against Trinidad & Tobago (17 goals against) than their first match against Argentina (24 goals against). To the credit of Guatemala’s strong defense behind Captain Edie Josue Lopez Eguizabal and keeper Gabriel Andres Guzman Espinoza, Trinidad & Tobago only had a 8-nill lead over Guatemala at halftime; that included two goals each by Andrew Vieira, Ishmael Campbell, and Shaquille Daniel. Both Daniel and Vieira had two more goals in the second half to contribute to Trinidad & Tobago’s 17-nill win over Guatemala.
For the top spot in Pool B, Canada and host Mexico battled. Canada took an early 1-0 lead off a penalty corner by Sam Jones. The rest of the first half, however, was a fairly even battle for possession between the two teams. Thus, with both teams trading possession and defending well, the score remained Canada 1, Mexico nill at halftime. Yet, in the second half, Canada dominated possession. Canada went ahead 3-nill off goals by Gabriel Ho-Garcia and Matthew Bissett, respectively. Mexico’s Roberto Antonio Monraz Rivera put in a penalty stroke in the 64th minute, but could not score more in the final minutes. Thus, Canada took top place in Pool B with the 3-1 victory over Mexico.
Lastly on Day 5 of the 2012 Pan American Championship, the United States and Chile played for the top spot in Pool C. In the first half of the match, the United States dominated possession, but Chile played tremendously strong defense to keep the United States from taking shots. Cristian Linney scored late in the half to give the United States a 1-0 lead at halftime. In the second half, Chile had more attacking opportunities, but could not convert. The United States’ Rutger Pruijs made it a 2-nill score off a field goal in the 59th minute. Playing very tight defense the United States held off a final Chile attack to earn the win and the top Pool C spot.
Also in Pool C, Barbados earned its first tournament win with a victory against Venezuela. Venezuela’s Captain Wilber Bracamonte scored early in the first half to give Venezuela the 1-0 lead. Both teams continued to battle for possession, but eventually it was Barbados who had more attacking opportunities. Despite Barbados earning many penalty corners late in the first half, the score remained 1-0 in favor of Venezuela at halftime. Barbados tied the match off a penalty corner by Jabari Walcott in the 44th minute. Just three minutes later, also off a penalty corner, Akeem Rudder gave Barbados a 2-1 lead over Venezuela. Barbados continued to pressure on attack and Che Warner’s penalty stroke made it a 3-1 score; and soon after Justin Caitlin’s goal made it 4-1. Venezuela did not have many attacking opportunities in the second half and Barbados came away with their first tournament victory.
Also looking for its first tournament win were Uruguay and Puerto Rico, respectively. Uruguay and Puerto Rico played and it was Uruguay who came out with more attacking pressure. Puerto Rico however, played strong defense and held Uruguay from scoring until the 19th minute when Matias Pereiro put one in. Right before halftime Pereiro scored again to give Uruguay a 2-nill lead at the half. Uruguay came out firing on attack and Gonzalo Rojas quickly gave Uruguay a 3-nill lead after halftime. Puerto Rico did not let up and continued to work together on defense. As a result, Puerto Rico had a few attacking opportunities in the second half and Fitzgerald Nina Villegas scored Puerto Rico’s first tournament goal to make it Uruguay 3-1 Puerto Rico. With both teams playing well defensively the final score remained 3-1 and Uruguay also notched its first tournament win.
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