Matheus Borges achieved his childhood dream: a final with his national team, score the winning goal and make the victory lap with the Gold medal around his neck, although the rest of the squad push the sticks with him. Brazil came to Chiclayo as favorites and left as champions.
Borges received, found the open space, and finished off from a crossed shot to put the ball to the net across dozens of legs, and beating good goalkeeper Junior Benítez. It was the last play of the first quarter and condemning the match.
“Thanks god, I was able to place the ball just there, where there was a space. Afterwards, the team did a good job, blocking all spaces and preventing short distance shots,” said Borges. In fact, Brazil, covered all possible attack from left and right, and when they tried from the center, the rivals found this way close to the attacking circle, also blocked.
With man marked Cristian Vargas, best scorer of the tournament with 11 goals, Venezuela tried all their weapons, the strength and speed of his players, but found a well-positioned defense on the pitch, and when this line was overtaken, they found goalkeeper Rodrigo Faustino always ready to contain the action.
Brazil finished the Pan American Challenge unbeaten, with four victories (over Panama 18-0, against Puerto 5-1, Uruguay 4-0 and today against Venezuela 1-0, one draw with Guyana 2-2 on the third day of the tournament).
“Our first goal was qualifying for the Pan American Cup, and we’ve achieved it. We wanted to become champions, we’ve achieved as well. This has been a hard year, of intense work, many matches, tours, and this trophy crowns the effort made”, said Coach Cláudio Rocha.
Venezuela could not believe the result. They were conceded with two penalty corners, the first one six seconds before the end of the match, and the second after regulation time had expired, and they failed in bothexecutions. “We wanted the Gold Medal, but we had to face solid Brazil, who didn’t allow it to happen. Good for them. Anyway, we’ll return home proud because we’ve qualified for The Pan American Cup”, said José Oropeza, considered best player of the tournament.Organized by PAHF and the Peruvian Hockey Federation, The Pan American Challenge took place in Chiclayo, 760 km north of Lima, on October 3rd through October 11th.