The Canadian men’s team earned in style their second win at the Pan American Games against Chile (4-0), their strongest opponent in pool A.
The match started with a long observation round, with the two teams trying to take control of the game but without taking too much risk. There were not many opportunities until Canada earned the first penalty-corner of the match, powerfully converted by Scott TUPPER in the 15th minute. The rest of the period continued to be a fierce battle for possession, with teams trading yellow cards but without creating many scoring situations. Chile had a chance to level the score on a penalty-corner but David CARTER was solid on his line to stop the shot.
In the intense heat of the Mexican end of afternoon, the second period started on a slow tempo. Chile seemed to gradually push Canada on their heels, even forcing a penalty-corner, saved again by CARTER in the Canadian goal. This was the wake-upcall the Canadian needed and they promptly regained control of the match, adding two additional penalty-corners by Scott TUPPER.
Rob SHORT put the contest beyond doubt in the 61th minute, collecting a loose ball in the circle and slamming it past the stunned Chilean goalkeeper.
The win qualifies Canada for the semi-final. Their last match is on Monday against a struggling Barbados team. Canada should win their pool and play in semi-final against the loser of the match between Argentina and Cuba, also on Monday.
“We played well,” says Rob Short. “The team battled hard – and to keep the zero is big. A 4 – 0 is convincing, our goalies are some of the best in the world so we expect that from them, and we thank them. It was nice to put one in the net, but overall it was great to come out with a strong win.”
“I’m very excited,” says Head Coach Robin D’Abreo. “This was a tough game – but I am pleased with the results. At times we made it harder on ourselves than we needed to, but we came out with a win. We are confident going into our next match against Barbados.”