It was skipper Scott Tupper’s day as three-in-a-row of penalty corners taken by him helped Canada overcame stiff resistance from Chile in the second semi-final of men’s hockey competition of Pan Am Games Lima 2019 at Villa Lamria on Thursday. Though Scott got two of three goals scored by Canada credited to his individual name, the third came from the rebound of his shot and was scored by Gordon Johnston, who in spite of a serious injury in the quarterfinals played an exceptional game with a face mask. Earlier, Argentina beat USA 5-0 to move to the gold medal round match.
The game of the day, however, was the Canada-Chile match. The South Americans put up a gallant fight with a brilliant brace from forwarding Rodriguez whose brilliant deflections, once in each half, had the Canadians throbbing for breath. Chile had Canadians on check with tight zone to zone marking and effective man to man marking allowing little or no space to their opponents to work out their moves. The game could have swung either way but for the penalty corners that save the day for Canada.
And fortunately, Canadian skipper, who was nation’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, lived up to the expectations and delivered his 100 percent. “It happens sometimes when we do not get any field goals. I am happy I could convert all the penalty corners,” commented Scott Tupper in the post-match media interaction. He admitted that Chile played with packed defense and a great strategy of close marking.
Canada took the lead in the 19th minute following the first penalty corner. Scott had a perfect flick that landed in the roof of the net. But Canadian joy was short-lived as Chilean forward Rodriguez with his electrifying reflexes deflected in a superb goal in the 23rd minute to bring the teams at par.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, Canada got its second penalty corner and this time Scott flicked well but goalkeeper tried to deflect the shot. This led the ball to Gordon Johnston who made no mistake with the rebound to put Canada ahead again. Chile refused to give up and continued to fight hard until it succeeded in leveling the score again. This time in the 54th minute when Rodriguez once again deflected in from a superb angle.
For the great relief of Canada, it earned its third penalty corner in the 55th minute and this time Scott Tupper stayed calm and flicked once again in the roof of the net to get his team a place in the gold medal round match.
Canada and Argentina are also in the final of women’s section. Earlier. in the first semi-final, Argentina beat USA 5-0 with goals from Matias Paredes, Lucas Martin Vila, Augustin Mazzilli, Marco Casella and Lucas Martinez. Now the USA will play Chile for the bronze medal match in men’s section.
Earlier, in other classification games of men’s section, Cuba beat Peru 7-0 and Trinidad and Tobago beat Mexico 3-0.