When Canada scored two quick goals in the fourth, off the sticks of Devohn Noronha Teixeira and Matt Sarmento, memories of previous Red Caribou comebacks starting to creep in. Argentina snuffed out those dreams by scoring a penalty stroke in the final minute resulting in a 5-2 victory for Los Leones.
As a result, Canada will fail to qualify for the 2023 World Cup. The loss is devastating blow to a team that has been to three out of the last three major games (2016 Rio, 2018 World Cup, 2020 Tokyo). Sarmento, one of Canada’s semi final goal scorers, said in a field-side interview after the match, that they simply didn’t have their best performances this week, and the loss
“It’s a pretty [horrible] feeling. We worked so hard for such a long time for this moment, and we just didn’t play well enough to come away with the win,” he said. “We were the second best team on the field today.”
Canada battles Argentina in the 2022 Pan American Cup semifinal. Photos/Oscar Munoz Badilla
Everything was on the line in today’s match. It was a simple do-or-die game with a World Cup berth as the winning reward. Argentina, the world number seven ranked team posed a threat on all sides of the ball and came out strong with a pressure-filled first quarter.
Despite allowing a goal in the second quarter, Canada controlled the pace of play and earned two penalty corners but had nothing to show for it. The third quarter was all Argentina, as they peppered the Canadian net and scored two more goals. When the horn blew to start the fourth quarter, Canada went all out on the attack.
With the score 4-0 with five minutes remaining, Canada popped two quick goals. At that moment, it felt like anything was possible. But today was not the day and Argentina iced the game with a penalty stroke in the final minute. Sarmento said the comeback was simply too little too late.
“We got two back there, we battled hard but it just wasn’t enough today, the first two goals weighed on us and we just couldn’t get four back late,” he said.
Canada will take on the winner of USA and Chile for the bronze medal. According to Sarmento, the team will reset and try to bring home a medal, even if it isn’t’ accompanied by a trip to India. The game will play at 4:00pm local time on Sunday.
Our national teams are able to compete at the 2022 Pan American Cup thanks to the generous support from our sponsors. Thank you to our apparel partner, Indian Maharadja, our equipment supplier, Gryphon Hockey, and our club partners, West Vancouver FHC and Tamanawis Field Hockey Society, for supporting the Red Caribou and Wolf Pack!
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