“Guys…we made it! Against all odds…..this victory is dedicated to all those who always supported us”
Ignacio Costas was excited. He was responsible for the last shot off, the goal for the victory, thus winning the Bronze Medal of the Pan American Challenge. This tournament, organized by PAHF and the Peruvian Hockey Federation, ended today in Chiclayo.
Uruguay defeated fierce Guyana 3-2 in the penalty shoot out, after the 2-2 draw in regulation.
“We were anxious. Shoot outs are just like playing roulette, but we knew we had good players to execute them…and well, a great goalkeeper”, said goalkeeper Rodrigo Cabrera, important player when it came to the definition, with a laugh.
Guyana played a great match. In fact, they played a great tournament, as Coach Robert Fernandes recognized. “It’s been almost seven years since last time Guyana participated in an international field tournament, so this result is very important to us. As we don’t have a synthetic turf hockey pitch, we had to train on a football pitch. However, the players have a lot of potential. More than half of the squad are still junior players, so we expect more from Guyana in the next tournaments”, he said.
GRITTING THEIR TEETH IN THE MATCH
With the Bronze medal at stake, the match started with a balanced sequence of actions until Guyana, with a great teamwork, broke Uruguay’s defense and opened the scoreboard with a goal off a low shot by Marvin Dannett.
Yet, Uruguay’s tenacity was shown in the second quarter. Juan Manuel Canessa scored following a penalty corner, and just when Guyana was recovering, a second well-executed goal by Joaquin Rodriguez was scored. “That was an incredible moment. We thought about everything; our families, friends, workmates, people we haven’t seen for…I don’t know, a month”, said Costas.
However, Robert France was able to reach the attacking area and defined the 2-2 draw, result that remained until the end of regulation.
Guyana led at the beginning of the match with a goal after Aroydy Brandford and Marvin Dannett’s play, but Uruguay’s strength, known as “garra” (claw), changed the scoreboard. Meanwhile goalkeeper Rodrigo Cabrera was busy preventing Guyana from scoring, Diego Laborde, Alexis López and finally, Ignacio Costas sealed the victory for Uruguay.
“This will be a great boost for the sport in Uruguay, it’ll help hockey to develop”, said Captain Patricio Draper.
The Pan American Challenge took place in Chiclayo, 760 km north of Lima, between October 3rd and October 11th, and was organized by PAHF and The Peruvian Hockey Federation.