Argentina vs. Trinidad & Tobago (9-0)

Argentina and Canada also advance to Final and earn 2013 Junior World Cup spots on the Mens’ side

On Days 10, 11, and 12 of the 2012 Pan American Championship (Men) pool play continued.

In the battle for top of Pool D to see who would advance to the Final match against Canada and secure the other 2103 Junior World Cup birth. Both teams came out battling for possession and looking for attacking opportunities. Argentina had more attacking opportunities in the first half, and Joaquin Menni gave Argentina the lead in the 8th minute. Soon after, Joaquin Leonel Coelho made it 2-0. Argentina had the first penalty corner of the match late in the first half, and Isidoro Ibarra put Argentina ahead by three. Soon after, Captain Gonzalo Peillat converted a penalty corner to give Argentina a 4-0 lead at halftime. Argentina continued their attacking pressure in the second half and quickly went head by six goals (including another by Menni). United States earned their first penalty corner of the match in the second half and Hans Kaeppler put his team on the scoreboard.  While Argentina did not have any penalty corners in the second half, the United States earned a few more corners, but could not convert. In the final minutes of the match, Argentina scored two more goals to win 8-1 over the United States. Thus, Argentina advances to the final against Canada and wins a birth in the 2013 Junior World Cup.

In Pool D on Day 10, the United States beat host Mexico (6-2); after taking an early 3-0 lead off two goals by Christian Linney and one by Captain Ajai Dhadwal. Mexico’s Daniel Ulbaldo Perez Paredes put Mexico on the board to make it a 3-1 halftime score in favor of the United States. In the second half, Mexico battled more for possession and had a number of penalty corners. After Tyler Sundeen gave the United States a 4-1 lead, Mexico’s Andres Rangel Martinez made it 4-2 just five minutes later.  Yet, the United States continued to capitalize off their attacking opportunities to come away with a 6-2 victory. The United States’ win over Mexico ensured that United States and Argentina had a battle coming in who would place first in Pool D to advance to the final against the first in Pool E.

Meanwhile on Day 10 of the Junior Pan American Championship (Men), the first place finisher in Pool E ended up being decided in the Canada versus Chile match. Chile’s Pablo Puercell scored off a penalty corner in the fifth minute; and it looked like Chile was going to continue its attack. Both teams came out strong however, and defended well to prevent either from having many attacking opportunities. Canada also scored its first goal off a penalty corner when Gordon Johnston tied the match in the 25th minute. The match remained tied 1-1 at halftime. In the second half, Canada took the 2-1 lead off a Matthew Bissett field goal in the 40th minute. This goal started an intense Canada attack, as Canada scored three more goals within eight minutes to take a 5-1 lead in the 48th minute (including two goals by Andrew Kanerva; and one by Stephen Bissett). Consequently, Chile was on their heels and could not recover. Thus, Canada came away with the win (CAN 8-1 CHI); and secured the top spot in Pool E to advance to the final to play Argentina and secured a birth in the 2013 Junior World Cup.

Chile and Trinidad & Tobago played in the final Pool E match. Throughout the first half, play was extremely even between the two teams. Trinidad and Tobago had a couple more penalty corners than Chile, but could not convert. Chile’s Pablo Puercell, however, converted Chile’s second penalty corner with less than one minute remaining in the first half to take a 1-0 halftime lead against Chile. The second half was like the first, with both teams really fighting for possession and having few attack opportunities. Trinidad and Tobago tied the match in the 57th minute off  Andrew Vieira’s penalty corner drag flick. Puercell gave Chile a 2-1 lead off another penalty corner shot with just five minutes remaining. In a thriller ending, behind Chile’s keeper Sebastian Valdes, Chile held off three penalty corners by Trinidad and Tobago in the final minute to come away with the win and advance to the 3rd/4th place match against the United States.

In Pool F, Brazil played Puerto Rico. The match started with Brazil attacking strong that continued throughout the rest of the match. Brazil’s Matheus Borges gave his team an early lead, scoring off a penalty stroke and a penalty corner. Puerto Rico’s Captain Gabriel Rodriguez Linera made it 2-1 in the 19th minute; but Borges scored two more goals off penalty corners to give Brazil a 4-1 lead over Puerto Rico at halftime. Borges scored two more goals in the second half and led Brazil to an 8-1 victory. With Barbados also beating Puerto Rico in Pool F play, the match between Brazil and Barbados would earn a spot in the 7th/8th place match. In this close match, Brazil and Barbados were tied 1-1 within the first ten minutes of the match. In the 28th minute, Kemar Bovell put Barbados ahead 2-1 that remained at halftime. Five minutes into the second half, Brazil’s Matheus Borges tied the match 2-2 off a penalty corner. Both teams continued to battle for possession and play strong defense; but in the 52nd minute, Bovell again gave Barbados the lead (3-2).  Two minutes later, Shonkeel Wharton scored for Barbados. In the final minute, Borges scored another penalty corner goal off his drag flick, but Barbados came away with the 4-3 win; and will play in the 7th/8th place match.

In Pool G, Jamaica and Guatemala played. With more experience, Jamaica came out applying the attacking pressure. Guatemala, however, played great defense and prevented Jamaica from scoring until the 15th minute off a penalty corner goal by Captain Kemar Mitchell. Two minutes later, Leon Waugh scored giving Jamaica a quick 2-0 lead over Guatemala. Mitchell then scored off a penalty stroke to make it 3-0 at halftime. Guatemala continued to great defense in the second half and Jamaica was unable to score another goal for 20 minutes. Xavier Hendricks’ field goal in the 55th minute spurred more scoring from Jamaica who scored two more goals after to go ahead by six goals over Guatemala. Guatemala was not just trying to play defense, however, and earned a couple penalty corners late in the match. Finally, in the 69th minute, Guatemala’s Erik Fernando Avila Cardenas scored; it was Guatemala’s third goal of the tournament. And the match ended 6-1 in favor of Jamaica.

Battling for the top spot in Pool G was Uruguay and Jamaica. Uruguay came out dominating play, but Jamaica did a tremendous defense job to keep Uruguay from scoring until late in the first half. Alexis Lopez gave Uruguay the lead in the 19th minute. The score remained 1-0 at halftime. Uruguay continued to dominate possession in the second half. Jamaica, however, finally was able to earn some penalty corners and Giovanne Campbell tied the match 1-1 in the 55th minute. Unlike Jamaica, Uruguay was able to capitalize on a penalty corner play as Mateo Pereiro’s penalty corner shot gave his team in the lead in the 62nd minute. Two minutes later, Mateo Pereio made the score 3-1 in favor of Uruguay; that remaine the final score. Thus, Uruguay will play against Barbados in the 7th/8th place match.