Day 3 action from men’s Pool A play at the XIX Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile featured a spirited Peru team scoring a goal despite Mexico walking away with a 6-1 victory. Two goals from Tomas Domene helped Argentina take down Chile 3-1 in front of a boisterous home crowd under the lights.
MEN Pool A: Mexico (6) – Peru (1)
A charged Mexican team came out with pace and intensity forcing a penalty corner in the in the opening minutes. Jorge Gomez was taken to the ground to give Mexico’s Luis Ortiz the opportunity but Rodrigo Diaz Espinosa was there to clear the ball off the goal line. Play continued in Mexico’s favour but they couldn’t seem to find a clear path to goal. In the last minute of play Ortiz had another penalty corner go at net but the ball hit the pads of Peru keeper Santiago Chipana and bounced around for Jorge Estrada to tap in make the game 1-0 for Mexico. Mexico were awarded a penalty stroke after a penalty corner rebound hit a body on the line but Chipana made a brilliant sprawling save to deny Mexican captain Luis Villegas.
In a momentous turn of events it was Peru that evened the scoring in the opening minutes of the second quarter. A long ball across the field found the speedy stick of Daniel Huanca who gained the circle and tossed the ball into traffic. Angelov Contreras tidied up and found the back of the net to level the game 1-1 and send the Peru team into overwhelming cheers.
Peru keeper Chipana continued to show his confidence, denying another Ortiz penalty corner but he was then left stranded as Juan Sosa was able to find lots of space and blast a shot from the top of the circle in to make it 2-1 for Mexico.
Mexico had a second chance to make good from the stroke mark in the third quarter but this time Daniel Castillo sent the ball well wide of the Peru goal. Mexico struggled to find their third goal as Chipana saved a rocket shot from Pablo Muñoz and a flurry of activity following.
Finally, the ball bounced favourably to a waiting Luis Villegas whose shot rifled at the net to make it 3-1. Mexico finally relaxed and started to really take control of the game, adding a fourth goal when Muñoz spun and threaded a ball past Chipana’s boots to make it 4-1.
Miguel Leon added a pair of goals in the fourth quarter to bring the final tally to 6-1 for Mexico.
MEN Pool A: Chile (1) – Argentina (3)
It was a packed Estadio National as the Chilean home crowd roared on their Varones against the world No. 7 Argentina. Both teams took time to settle in with Argentina being much more clinical in their offensive end. It was a dramatic end the opening quarter as an Argentina penalty corner flick from Maico Casella rang off the feet of Chilean defender Vicente Goni for a penalty stroke. Casella buried the stroke despite the distraction of the crow roar, but the stroke was overturned for an infringement by Casella’s front foot.
Casella would earn Argentina’s redemption burying a penalty corner flick stick side on Adrian Henriquez to give the Leones the 1-0 lead. Argentina continued to show their penalty corner expertise as Tomas Domene stepped up bury a rocket flick to double the lead.
Chile was finding some space behind their South American foes through the long aerials off Juan Amoroso’s stick. Raimundo Valenzuela was the beneficiary in the circle and the shots and subsequent rebounds were saved by Tomas Santiago. Chile then had back-to-back penalty corner attempts but Amoroso was unsuccessful from the top of the battery.
Argentina also had more chances from the top of the circle but a Casella flick was blocked and a nifty play from Nicolas della Torre to Casella was steered off the line well by Goni.
Chile had the crowd on their feet when they earned a penalty corner on a play that the Argentine defence challenged by video referral and then lost. The opportunity was squandered as for the second time the ball was mistrapped. That was how Chile’s story was for most of the night until finally with 20 seconds on the clock Amoroso finally buried a penalty corner flick to stymie Santiago’s shutout.
"It was an intense match and as I have been saying since last year at the Copa America, Chile has grown a lot in men's field hockey, and we also saw that today on the field," said Argentina's Casella. "Today we achieved our goals and now we focus on Peru, who we will play on Sunday".
"It was a very intense match, which we held throughout the game, however, the score opened first for Argentina and was unfortunate for us at the end," said Chilean goal scorer Amoroso. "But we fought during the whole match. Argentina is a great rival and opponent and now we must focus on what comes next, which is our match against Mexico".