(Gary Hines goes high for 1 of his 17 goals last night vs the Dominican Republic)
60 minutes of handball was not enough last night for the USA and the Dominican Republic as 2 extra time (2x5 minute) sessions were required to decide a winner. The match was even throughout with the largest lead being a 3 goal margin held by the Dominican Republic briefly at 3 times during the match. The Dominican Republic did get the better of the U.S. most of the first half and lead at the break 16-14.
In the second half they maintained their lead and with 20 minutes left they extended it to 20-17. The U.S. then went on a 4 goal run thanks to 3 goals from Alex Binderis and 1 from Patrick Hueter to take a 21-20 lead. For the remainder of regulation the U.S. seemed to have the upper hand and with 1:40 left led 29-27. The Dominican Republic, however, managed to tie it back up at 29-29 and an Abou Fofana jump shot went wide as time expired.
In the first extra time session (2x5 minutes) the two teams traded goals back and forth with neither side managing to pull ahead by more than 1 goal. With the score tied up at 34-34, the Dominican Republic had the ball last and a chance to win, but staunch U.S. defense did not allow a shot off.
In the second extra time session (2x5 minutes) the U.S. finally was able to get a little daylight between and was able to maintain a 1 to 2 goal lead for most of extra time. 2 goals from Michael Lee (on a fast break and from the wing) helped seal the win in the closing minutes
Gary Hines was clearly the man of the match as he poured in 17 goals for the U.S. He was a perfect 5 for 5 on penalty shots and was a blistering 12 of 14 from the field scoring from all parts of the court often finding breakthrough 1 on 1 opportunities when seemingly there was nothing there.
Gary Hines, 17
Abou Fofana, 7
Alex Binderis, 4
Michael Lee, 4
Patrick Hueter, 4
Ian Hueter, 3
Antoine Baup, 2
The U.S. won’t get much time to rest as they will face Cuba tonight in the Gold Medal match. Cuba defeated Puerto Rico 27-23 in the other semifinal and surely were more than happy to see the U.S. play an extra 40 minutes. Cuba will also be looking to avenge their 23-20 Group Play loss to the U.S. The winner of the match also qualifies for the Emerging Nations Final Tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia, 8-16 June.
Finals, Sunday, 14 April
Bronze Dominican Republic vs Puerto Rico 6:00 PM Local / US ET
Gold USA vs Cuba 8:00 PM Local / US ET
USA – Dominican Republic Official Match Statistics: Link
USA – Dominican Republic Photo Gallery: Link
USA – Dominican Republic Match Video: Link
Official Tourney Website: Link