In a thrilling semifinal showdown at the 2023 Pan American Games, Chile emerged victorious in a nail-biting shootout against Canada, dashing the hopes of Canadians for a gold medal.
The prime-time match in the rain, under the bright lights of Santiago had the Canadian team facing off against the hosts, Chile. This clash was a anticipated rematch of the 2019 Pan American Games semifinal in Lima, where Canada won 3-2. The game started with both teams probing cautiously into each other’s territory, resulting in a scoreless first quarter. However, as the match progressed, Chile began to apply pressure, earning several penalty corner chances. Canadian goalkeeper Ethan McTavish made a pivotal stick save to keep his team’s hopes alive.
The 24th minute brought fireworks as Canada’s Gordon Johnston, with his fourth goal of the tournament, hammered home a powerful shot from his position atop the penalty corner castle. In the dying moments of the first half, Chile earned another pair of penalty corners, but McTavish and the Canadian defense stood tall.
The second half witnessed a more intense and passionate tilt, with players challenging intensely for the ball, and the contested space was growing tighter. Chile was applying most of the pressure in the final 25 minutes of the game and the dam finally broke. Chile managed to equalize the score midway through the fourth quarter, by way of a penalty corner. The game clock ticked to the end with the scoreline tied 1-1, meaning we had shootouts.
The shootout came down to the final two shooters in sudden death fashion. Chile ultimately emerged victorious, securing their place in the Pan American Games gold medal match for the first time in history. Canada’s quest for gold came to an end, and they will now face USA in a pool-play rematch for the Bronze on Friday.
Canada vs Chile in the Pan Am semifinals. Photos/Yan Huckendubler.
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