Five different players were on target as this country powered past Brazil 5-0 to make it two wins from as many matches in Pool A at the Pan American Junior (Under-21) Hockey Championship at the Pan American Hockey Stadium, Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico, yesterday. Following its 8-1 thrashing of Caribbean neighbours Jamaica on Tuesday, the T&T squad led by co-captains, Aidan De Gannes and Dominic Jaikaransingh was favoured to get past the junior “Samba Boys”, who had a first day bye. Ishmael Campbell got the “Calypso Stickmen” off to a flyer when he netted a field goal in the sixth minute for a 1-0 lead while Quinn Clarke doubled the scoreline in the 17th as T&T took command of the encounter. After soaking up a little bit of pressure from the Brazilians, T&T extended its cushion to 3-0 when Cogie Butler converted a penalty stroke with nine minutes left in the half. On the resumption, T&T continued to dominate and added two more goals through Jaikaransingh in the 44th minute and Shakiel Joseph, four minutes later to round off the scoring. Tariq Marcano came close to scoring his second goal of the tournament when he hit the crossbar, while Brazilian goalkeeper Victor Franco also pulled off a number of saves to deny T&T from registering a wider margin of victory.
With the win, T&T moved level on six points from two matches with Argentina which still heads the five-team pool on a better goal difference of plus-32 to plus-12. The Argentines continued their impressive start with an 8-0 thumping of Jamaica while in Tuesday’s late match Chile spanked Barbados 6-1 in Pool C. Last night, Canada and Uruguay faced off in Pool B while today four matches are on schedule, two in Pool C and one apiece in Pool A and B. USA comes up against Barbados and Chile tackles Venezuela in Pool C while Brazil faces Guatemala in Pool A, and Mexico tangles with Puerto Rico in Pool B. T&T has an off day today and resumes play tomorrow versus Argentina (3.15 pm) followed by Guatemala on Sunday (10 am) to close out pool play. At the end of the first round, the top team in Pool A and Pool C as well as the runner-up from Pool B will advance to second round Pool D while the winner of Pool B and the runners-up from Pool A and C will contest Pool E from which the two qualifiers for the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) 10th Men's Junior World Cup will be determined. The third-placed finisher will be the first reserve team. The teams placing third in Pool A and C and fourth in Pool B will comprise Pool F while the third-placed team in Pool B, as well as the fourth-placed teams in Pool A and C and fifth in Pool B will compete in Pool G all for positions seventh through 13.
Venezuela women surprise T&T 3-2
Venezuela used goals from three different players in the first half to hold off T&T junior women 3-2 in their second Pool B match yesterday. Boosted by its 3-0 shut-out of Jamaica on Tuesday, T&T was confident of securing a second win against the South Americans, who were clobbered 9-0 by USA in their opener on Monday. However, it was Venezuela which got off to a quick start via a third-minute item from Stephanie Gonzalez while Patricia Mujica (21st) and Esther Padron (24th) added to their team’s lead before Brianna Govia pulled a goal back for T&T to trail 3-1 at the interval. The second half was a much more even encounter as T&T gradually came into its own and created a number of chances with only one being converted by Zene Henry in the 49th minute. The local squad led by co-captains, Tamara De Nobriga and Amanda George, continued to press for the equaliser but despite their effort, came up short and remained on three points from two matches, the same as Venezuela.
At the top of the table is Chile which followed up its 9-0 win over Paraguay by hammering Jamaica 10-0 in yesterday’s first match. USA also has six points from two matches after beating Paraguay 8-0 on Tuesday night to add to its 9-0 demolition of Venezuela. In Pool A, Canada and Uruguay are joint top on four points each after a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night while Argentina is next with three points from its lone match. Last night, the Argentines came up against Mexico while today, Uruguay faces Brazil and Venezuela plays Chile. T&T has a rest day today and will return to action against USA tomorrow from 11.45 am, Paraguay on Sunday (11.45 am) and Chile on Monday from 3.15 pm ahead of cross-over playoffs. Three countries will qualify for the FIH Seventh Women's Junior World Cup. If a PAHF National Association is the host, that country will qualify automatically, together with the two highest placed teams.