Argentina coasted to a 5-0 victory over the USA in the first semifinal of the men’s competition on Day 10 of the Pan American Games. Five different scorers and goals in each quarter were indicative of Argentina’s dominance from start to finish.
Agustin Mazzilli earned Argentina a penalty corner with not even one minute on the clock. Jose Tolini’s flick was turned away by USA keeper Jonathan Klages. The Americans looked steady in their back field in the opening minutes but a sideline free hit blast from Juan Lopez caught USA off guard. Matias Paredes snuck in behind and made a brilliant deflection on the run to get the Leones on the board 1-0.
Tom Barrat swept a hard ball from through the Argentina circle and somehow the ball bounced past both Deegan Huisman and Paul Singh. Argentina continued to show their prowess in attack as they had back-to-back corners near the end of the first quarter. The first was saved by Klages and the second tinged off the post and went wide. Just before the break Lucas Vila gathered a loose ball in the circle and with his back to the net fired the ball past Klages for a 2-0 Argentina lead.
Klages was there again to deny a wide open shot from Nicolias Cicileo in the 19th minute. Seconds later a hard pass from Lopez found Agustin Mazzilli unmarked at the top of the circle. Mazzilli buried his shot on the back hand to lift Argentina 3-0.
Argentina continued to show their dominance in passing as the Americans moved to a more aggressive pressure in the second half. Matias Rey sent a perfect ball for a wide open Paredes, who slid to get the deflection but Klages was there to make the stop. Klages denied Martin Ferreiro on the back hand to keep USA in it but Maico Casella deflected in with seconds left in the quarter to give Argentina the 4-0 lead.
Paul Singh had USA’s closest chance as his solo effort along the left baseline omitted two defenders but not keeper Juan Vivaldi. The Americans appealed for a video review for a slight touch in the circle that they thought hit an Argentina foot but the review was rejected and the Americans continued without a penalty corner chance in the game. Lucas Martinez spun and put in a fifth goal for Argentina in the 59th minute.
Argentina cruised to the 5-0 victory and booked their spot in the finals for the 14th-straight year. The two-time defending Pan American Games champions have won nine titles and have faced Canada in the final for the past 11-straight years.