Pan American Champions: Argentina

Argentina successfully defended their 2013 Pan American Cup title with a 2-0 victory over Canada. The victory marks the third title for the World No. 1 Los Leones, while this is the fourth time Canada, ranked 11th, has finished second at this event. Ignacio Ortiz and Lucas Vila scored the first half goals, while Canadian keeper David Carter minimized the damage done by the Olympic champions.

In typical Pan American Cup final fashion Argentina’s crafty offence was quickly at work but they were matched well by a stingy Canadian defence led by keeper Carter. Ignacio Ortiz caught the Canadian defence by surprise utilizing his shifty skills along the baseline and popping in a ball over Carter for a 1 -0 lead for Los Leones. From there Canada did well to stymie the many, many runs into the Canadian end zone with patient stick work and strong tackles from Scott Tupper, Gordon Johnstone and Brandon Pereira.  

Argentina’s Juan Lopez had a blast from the top of the circle steered away by Carter’s left glove, while moments later a back-hand shot by Gonzalo Peillat was saved by Carter’s sliding pads. Keegan Pereira created Canada’s first real free-play chance as he sent a cross-field pass to Brendan Bissett but the shot was blocked at the top of the circle.

Agustin Mazzilli ran the show for the second quarter with numerous dangerous runs into the circle forcing Carter to make a stick save on one and air dribbling a ball and shooting just over the Canadian goal. In the 25th minute Lucas Vila’s spin at the top of the circle allowed him space to quickly release a shot that fired through traffic for a 2-0 Argentina lead.

The intensity of the match was at its highest in the third quarter. Argentina defender Juan Gilardi was issued a yellow card in the 40th minute in his attempt to stop a streaking Floris van Son, while minutes later Vila was sent off with a green. Canada jumped on the advantage and generated two penalty corners. The first, a flick from Tupper, was saved well by the kicker of Argentina keeper Juan Vivaldi. Canada’s second attempt, this time from Johnstone, was blocked well by Lucas Rossi.

In the 49th minute van Son danced his way into the Argentina circle but his shot was saved by Vivaldi. The bouncing rebound was batted just wide by Canadian Brad Logan. Van Son had another back-hand attempt in the dying minutes of the game but it was superbly blocked by Santiago Tarazona. Canada pulled Carter in desperation to score but Ortiz and Vila’s first-half strikes were enough to lift the reigning champions to a 2-0 victory.

Following the match Argentina’s Matias Paredes was named the best player, while Carter was named the top goal keeper of the tournament. Paredes and Peillat shared the top goal scorer award, each with seven goals, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tariq Marcano was named the tournament’s best junior (under 21) player.

The final match was also the 100th international match for umpire Peter Wright who becomes just the third male from South Africa to reach this Golden Whistle milestone after his brother John Wright and Deon Nel.

2017 Men’s Pan American Cup Major Awards

Top Player: Matias Paredes (Argentina)

Top Junior Player: Tariq Marcano (Trinidad and Tobago)

Top Goalkeeper: David Carter (Canada)

Top Goal Scorers: Gonzalo Peillat (Argentina), Matias Paredes (Argentina)

2017 Men’s Pan American Cup Final Placings

1. Argentina
2. Canada
3. USA
4. Trinidad and Tobago
5. Brazil
6. Chile
7. Mexico
8. Venezuela