USA Field Hockey
Eight goals scored in game three of USA Junior Men series
The USA U20 Men's Squad scored three respectable goals and it probably should have been enough, but Argentina was given twelve penalty corners and a penalty stroke, and that proved to be the difference in the match. On two of the penalty corners, USA defenders left early and, on both of the subsequent under-manned re-do's, they were punished by Argentina goals. The final score was 5-3.
The match began with first one side attacking and then the other counter-attacking, up and down the pitch. With five quick minutes gone in the match, USA was awarded a penalty corner, which resulted in another and on that turn, Ajai Dhadwal, the USA captain, scored on a well aimed shot to give the red, white and blue the lead.
It took Argentina eight minutes to win their next short corner, which they converted after a USA defender was sent to mid-field for an early entry. Both teams worked hard in the remainder of the first half and Argentina would have been rewarded just before the buzzer, except Brandon Karess, the USA goalie, made an outstanding save, and was then assisted by Mo Gandhi who swept the second shot off the goal-line and out of bounds.
The second half began with the score tied 1-1 and both sides struggling to gain an advantage as play flowed back and forth. Fourteen minutes into the second half, the silver side was gifted a golden opportunity in the form of a penalty stroke, which they quickly converted. Five minutes later Argentina scored again on a field goal to make it 3-1.
USA never waivered, and moments later Tyler Sundeen scored on a well executed penalty corner, 3-2. With ten minutes left in the match, Argentina received a yellow card for playing after the whistle, and USA looked to be pressing the advantage, but, a quick Argentina counter-attack led to another penalty corner. Once again, USA left early, and on the short-handed redo paid the price.
At four minutes, Johnny Orozco began working the long corner, leading to a circle penetration and finding Christian Linney on the high far post, who slammed the ball into the roof of the net, 4-3. USA continued to press forward, but Argentina made the final mark on a counter with twenty-two seconds remaining, making the final score 5-3.
At the end of the match the USA side appeared very disappointed with the result, and Argentina was much more subdued in their celebrations than normal, perhaps due to the realization by both sides that USA is rapidly improving and could have won this match.
Argentina will have their hands full when they play Queensland Academy of Sport Development tomorrow. They will finish the series when they meet USA again on Saturday, August 13 at 12:30pm and Sunday, August 14 at 10:30am.