BRAMPTON, Ontario – August 13, 2013 – Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Cali.) scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute, leading the U.S. Men’s National Team to the semi-finals at the Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ontario with a 3-2 victory over Mexico. Harris scored all three of USA’s goals, earning his second hat trick of the tournament.
“Our team persevered and showed a lot of courage and professionalism in the way they managed themselves throughout a difficult match,” said head coach Chris Clements. “To come back twice and score the game-winner in the final minute to secure our place in the semi-finals was very encouraging for the group. Our team showed great composure right through to the very end.”
“We got off to a rough start being down 1-0, but we battled back,” said U.S. midfielder Michael Barminski. “I think our team showed great composure and to go from being down 1-0, and then down 2-1, and win, 3-2, in the final minute shows a lot of strength and courage. I am happy we are in to the semi-finals with the chance to go to the championship.”
Midway through the first half, Mexico’s Francisco Aguilar gave his team its first lead, scoring on a penalty corner in the 17th minute. The U.S. evened the score, 1-1, two minutes before the end of the first half when Harris redirected a pass from Michael Barminski (Ventura, Cali.) into the net.
Mexico regained the advantage going ahead, 2-1, with a penalty stroke in the opening minutes of the second half. The U.S. did not let up, coming from behind again in the 58th minute to tie the match, 2-2.
In the final minute, the U.S. was awarded with a penalty corner and once again, Harris put the ball in the back of the net for the game-winner. Instead of a drag flick, which Harris used to score four goals against Uruguay on Monday, Harris made a last minute decision to carry the ball around into the circle, around a defender and into the net.
“I wanted the game to be over,” said Harris. “I didn’t plan on going around the defender, but the ball was bouncing so in the moment I changed my mind, went around him and thought to myself this is going in.”
The victory over Mexico sends the U.S. into the semi-finals on Thursday, August 15 against an undetermined opponent. The U.S. will play the winner this evening’s match between Trinidad and Tobago and host Canada. Canada defeated Brazil, 3-1, in their Pan Am Cup opener and drew with Chile 2-2. Trinidad and Tobago also defeated Brazil, 5-2, as well as Chile, 5-1.