Comeback Colombia overcome by late-finishing Argentina


Match heroes
Argentina’s Ashley Haatcher and captain Carla Comba threw three goals each with Cecelia Leonard and Julieta Auliel grabbing two apiece. For Colombia, Carolina Ortega, Daniela Marin and  Susana Atehortua all scored twice. Colombian goalkeeper Sara Agudelo made a remarkable 13 saves, earning her possibly the best player in the pool.

Turning point
In such a tight match, there were several turning points. Colombia went ahead at the start and made it 4-2 with a VAR decision on an Angela Rivera lob from deep left at the quarter buzzer before Argentina levelled at four. Colombia retook the lead via penalty. Argentina scored three unanswered goals and even had a penalty shot blocked to lead 7-5 at halftime. The match turned twice more as a defiant Colombia scored twice through a Sara Vanegas penalty and an Ortega extra-man goal from the left-post position. Goals were traded for 8-8 by the final break. Atehortua, who had levelled the match, then sent Colombia into rapture with a score from deep right when left free for 9-8. The final twist came when Ana Agnesina drew a six-metre foul, sat up and drilled the goal. In the last 10 seconds a penalty was awarded to Argentina and the flattering scoreline moved to two goals.

Stats don’t lie
For such a close match, the stats throw up some interesting numbers. Colombia only took 19 shots compared to Argentina’s 38, so the blocks were decisive with Colombia making 16 to five. Argentina stole more — 12/6 — and the real mark against Colombia was making nine turnovers to none and giving up six offensives to two. Extra-man attack was healthy with Colombia converting five from 10 and Argentina a more economical five from seven.

Bottom line
On paper, Argentina should have won this match, and it did, but with stout resistance from Colombia. The value of this level of match was not lost on Colombia, who still have more time to impress in Lima. It was Argentina’s first win after a big loss to Australia on day one and a rest day yesterday. For Colombia it was a third loss, but a step in the right direction. It will play Canada on Thursday and then the all-important clash with Cuba on Friday.


USA notches third straight victory

USA took on a more experienced team internationally and came up trumps. It was built on a 6-2 opening quarter, shifted slowly to 8-3 by halftime and just 9-4 by the final break. Goals were traded for 10-5 in a period where Brazil missed two penalty attempts that could have had the scoreline more interesting. USA’s Ana Stryker blasted in her penalty attempt to seal the match at 1:53.

Emily Ausmus is proving to be a leading light in Lima, scoring five goals — three on extra-man attack. Taylor Smith loves to counter and used this to good effect with four goals. For Brazil, Samantha Ferreira was the only multiple scorer, with three goals from six attempts. Two of these came on extra-man attack.

USA took 31 shots to 26, scored just four from 12 on extra man compared to Brazil’s four from seven; made 14 blocks to nine; 10 steals to nine and turned the ball over only six times while Brazil turned over eight. It was USA’s third straight win and it was Brazil’s second loss from three matches.


Aussie Stingers counter way to victory over Cuba

This was always going to be a blowout with such experience in the Aussie Stingers team.  Cuba kept working throughout, but the fact that Australia could shoot, plunder balls and swim fast, proved the dearth between these nations. Pascal Casey and Sienna Hearn were the spearheads with five goals each, while Charlize Andrews, captain and dual Olympian Zoe Arancini and Tenealle Fasala all gained three. Aliannis Ramirez and Daniuska Carrasco scored a double each for Cuba.

In the statistics, Australia had an incredible 30 more shots than Cuba (45-15); stole 18 balls to two and forced 11 turnovers to four. Cuba gave up five offensive fouls to the Stingers’ one. On extra-man attack, Cuba managed two from seven and Australia one from three.

Australia, with two big wins and a 14-11 score against Canada, is looking the best team here, but the winner will be revealed when it clashes with USA in the final match of the round-robin tournament.


Thursday line-ups

Brazil faces Australia, , USA takes on Argentina and Cuba plays Canada


Progress points

Australia 9, USA 9, Argentina 3, Canada 3, Brazil 0, Cuba 0, Colombia 0.