Mexico beats USA 33-14 in PATHF Division I semi-final match

Nov. 25, 2008, 12 a.m. (ET)
MEXICO CITY - The Mexican national team beat the USA Team Handball women's national squad 33-14 Tuesday night in the PATHF Division I semi-final match.

The Americans started slowly, committing turnovers and allowing the Mexican women to slice through their defense. The Americans misused offensive chances; it added up to a 16-8 lead at halftime for the women of Mexico.

There was optimism in the ranks as the USA was down by 10 the night before and outscored Mexico in the second half. Coach Marko Brezic hammered home the key points on defense and encouraged a quicker attack where the opportunities presented themselves.  

The USA WNT seemed ready to make a run as the second half started. The offense looked good for a few minutes and opportunities appeared.  But the women of Mexico made adjustments and then dominated the rest of the game. Attacks were stopped by a stingy Mexico defense and goalkeeper. 

The loss was devastating to an American team who had only recently been reunited after a 16 month hiatus. Coach Brezic was highly complementary of the commitment demonstrated by the players to reunite and play the game in international competition.

Mexico, undefeated so far throughout the tournament, has qualified for the Pan American Elite Championships in 2009 along with Chile, who will be hosting the event. The Chilean handball team defeated Puerto Rico Tuesday night, 36-23.

The Americans will play Puerto Rico 4:30 p.m. Wednesday for third place in the Division I tournament.