(Photo courtesy of Santiago Russo @playhandball)
The final day of Group Play for the Women’s Team Handball competition played out as expected with all four heavily favored teams winning their matches.
First, the U.S. defeated an inexperienced Peru side 29-11. The match was relative close for the first few minutes, but the U.S. gradually pulled away for a 16-8 halftime lead. In the 2nd half kept up the pressure limiting Peru to just 3 goals in the 2nd half and continued to widen the lead to the eventual 29-11 final outcome. Key to victory was the USA scoring 13 fast breaks on 14 attempts and a suffocating defense which limited Peru to just 11 goals
Ashley Butler and Julia Taylor led a balanced USA scoring attack with 5 goals each. Other USA scoring: Julia Sayer (4), Maria Vallone (4), Nicole Andersen (3), Jence Rhoads (3), Zoe Lombard (2), Kathy Darling (2), Sif Christensen (1). Kelly Servat and Ariana Cruz led Peru in scoring with 4 goals a piece.
After the U.S. took care of business it was only a matter of Argentina beating the Dominican Republic and staying undefeated to take first in Group B. The Dominican Republic managed to keep the match close for the first 14 minutes, but a five goal by Argentina extended the lead to 10-4 and from then on the outcome was never in doubt. Final score, 27-17.
In Group A, Brazil easily defeated Puerto Rico 40-16 to remain unbeaten and finish first. Cuba beat Canada 28-15 to finish 2nd.
Today (Sunday) is a rest day and the semifinals will be Monday night
7:00 PM (US ET) Argentina vs Cuba
9:30 PM (US ET) Brazil vs USA
The USA faces a steep challenge as Brazil is one of the best teams in the world and they have won 5 consecutive Pan American Games titles dating back to 1999.
How to Watch
Both semifinal matches will be streamed on ESPN 3. ESPN 3 is an online streaming channel available to all subscribers of ESPN and can be viewed via computer, phone or TV. To watch on TV make sure you have the latest ESPN app downloaded with your Roku, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV streaming platform. This may also require confirming that you subscribe to ESPN via a Cable or satellite subscription. You may also want to verify that everything is working correctly by simply watching another PANAM Games event prior to the semifinals on Monday night.
ESPN watch: Link
ESPN 3 Schedule: Link
(Note: Handball is listed as “balonmano” which is Spanish for handball.)