Game 46 (M): 10:55, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 10 SPAIN 11
Classification 5th & 6th
Quarters: 0-4, 3-2, 3-2, 4-3
Referees: Mihailo CIRIC (SRB), Daniel FLAHIVE (AUS) Extra Man: USA: 3/8. ESP: 3/7
Pens: USA: 1/1
UNITED STATES: Merrill MOSES, Peter VARELLAS (3), Peter HUDNUT (1), Jeff POWERS, Adam WRIGHT (2), Brian ALEXANDER (2), Layne BEAUBIEN, Tony AZEVEDO (1), Ryan BAILEY (1), Tim HUTTEN, Jesse SMITH, Shea BUCKNER, Andrew STEVENS. Coach:
SPAIN: Inaki AGUILAR, Mario GARCIA, Eric MARSAL, Francisco FERNANDEZ, Guillermo MOLINA (3), Marc MINGUELL (1), Mark ROCA (1), Albert ESPANOL, Xavier VALLES, Felipe PERRONE (1), Ivan PEREZ (3), Javier GARCIA (2), Daniel LOPEZ. Head Coach:
Even at the age of 40, massive centre forward Ivan PEREZ, is not slowing down. He was the undisputed star player in his team’s victory over the USA. Not only did he score three goals but he earned about five ejections in such short spurts in the pool. Spain relies heavily on him to produce those extra-man chances and he does not disappoint. The ageless nature of his play is only tarnished by his lack of speed and stamina but the minutes he gives the team are crucial and his defensive skills equal those at the other end of the pool. Perez scored the third and fourth goals from centre forward as his team dominated the first quarter, keeping the USA scoreless. The USA won the next period with AZEVEDO, ALEXANDER and HUDNUT scoring but MOLINA scored his second on extra and PEREZ notched No 3 from point blank on extra. The game became more interesting in the third period as the USA hit the goal twice through ALEXANDER and VARELLAS. MOLINA and VARELLAS traded goals for 6-7 with ROCA sending one down the line on extra to close the quarter’s scoring at 6-8. Javier GARCIA scored the first of two goals in the final quarter but BAILEY responded at two metres. PERRONE scuttled in a round-arm shot from seven metres for 7-10. VARELLA scored his third from the left-hand-catch position. GARCIA responded with WRIGHT getting in on the action with a shot from the top off the right post for 9-11 at 2:21. There was still time for the USA. Both teams had no success after timeouts. The USA gained a penalty foul on PERRONE and WRIGHT converted for 10-11. The shot was held up as USA assistant coach Robert LYNN was red-carded and the referees would not allow the shot to be taken until he had vacated the pool deck. At 0:24 the game was up for the USA and Spain controlled the ball with the assistance of a timeout at 0:15. Spain finished fifth, a far cry from Rome’s silver medal while the USA fell from fourth to sixth.