Canada wins despite Brazil’s heroic 7-1 burst to level match


Match heroes
Sean Spooner and Thomas Schapowal scored three each, but it was the latter who made the difference and was named man of the match. His was the 9-4 goal that punctuated a 7-1 burst by Brazil and he was the man on the spot to drill from the right-hand-catch position on extra man at 1:54 for what was the 11-10 winner. Reuel D’Souza scored two of the first three Canadian goals and Gaelan Patterson pushed in two of the five-goal spurt that made in 8-2 late in the second quarter. Gustavo Coutinho, Roberto de Freitas, Marcos Pedrosa and Luis da Silva all scored twice. Brazilian goalkeeper Guilherme Barella dragged down 10 shots.

Turning points
There were two. Canada shifted the match from 3-2 to 8-2 by 1:31 of the second quarter and seemingly looked set for an easy victory. However, the tide turned viciously on Canada as Roberto de Freitas began a 7-1 avalanche of goals, including five straight from 9-4 to 9-9. Gustavo Coutinho fired in his second consecutive goal from the right-hand-catch position to level a match where pressure was king. Brazil forced Canada into errors, missing passes, turning over two balls and having one stolen. Canada regained composure with Aria Soleimanipak scoring from wide left and Schapowal making it 11-10 after Pedrosa equalised at 10 at 3:44.

Canadian head coach Pat Oaten

Stats don’t lie
Canada had two less shots, needed the big exclusion count to convert six from 14 to Brazil’s paltry two from five. All the other stats were pretty even, so you could say, the match was won on the extra-man count.

Bottom line
Canada is living life on the edge and proving that it is a match winner. Can it continue this form through the finals? Its control of the ball on extra-man attack is phenomenal, but it needs more to get past the keeper. Surely Friday’s match with Colombia will not be a one-goal affair. Brazil, for its efforts, little reward. The fantastic comeback was epic and deserved better. Two one-goal losses in two days must be hard to take.


USA takes three quarters to shake off relentless Argentina

USA came through with the goods against Argentina, which is shaping as an excellent team with more matches played. There was nothing in for the first three quarters with the first locked at two, halftime at five and USA with a 7-6 advantage by the final break. Argentina levelled at one, two, three, four, took the lead at 5-4 and was two behind late in the third before Ramiro Veich netted his third for 7-6 down. USA then sent in five unanswered goals for a  stunning 12-6 advantage and then sharing goals inside the final minute for the 13-7 final margin. Octavio Antunez was red-carded at 2:08 in the final quarter after Chase Dodd scored his third goal.

USA head coach Dejan Udovicic

For USA, Dodd topped with three goals, Thomas Dunstan, Sawyer Rhodes and Quinn Woodhead all added two. Captain Drew Holland made eight saves in goal. Veich led Argentina with three and Carlos Camnasio scored his team’s third and fourth goals.

USA took 12 more shots at goal (36/24), took nine steals to five and 15 blocks to 13 while Argentina committed five offensives to one and turned the ball over four times to one. On extra-man attack, USA converted two from four and Argentina two from eight. Interestingly enough, there were no extra-man goals in the first half, the first coming at 2:51 in the third period. Argentina was coming off the sensational 18-shot penalty-shootout loss to Canada on day three.


Tim Putt helps Aussie Sharks swim away with 12-goal margin

Australia rattled Colombia with a stunning first half and continued the flow until the final whistle. Colombia had no answers in the first quarter as the Aussie Sharks plundered five goals, shot to 6-0 before Enzo Salinas stopped the slide with a score on extra-man attack several minutes into the second quarter. Three more Aussie goals, including one to international debutant Keenan Marsden — son of 2000 Olympic captain Daniel Marsden — for his first goal at this level. Starting the third period, Timothy Putt sent in his third goal, like the rest with sheer power shooting; Steven Montoya replied for Colombia from the penalty line and Sharks co-captain Blake Edwards claimed his second, on extra-man attack, for the 11-2 final-break margin. Charlie Negus and Olympian Putt for his fourth, on counter, had the score at 13-2. Nelson Bejarano converted the penalty for Colombia, Negus responded; Felipe Aranda brought up the fourth Colombian goal with a rocket from eight metres and two late Australian strikes finished with 16-4.

Putt, with his four goals, led the Sharks; Negus, Marcus Berehulak and Edwards finished with two each. Australia shot 30/22, converted three from five on extra to and defended four of five; shared the blocks at 11/11, won the steals contest 13/10, but made four turnovers to one.


Points table:

USA 12, Australia 10, Canada 7, Argentina 4, Brazil 3, Colombia 0.


Friday line-ups

In the final round-robin matches, Brazil plays Argentina, Colombia plays Canada and USA faces Australia.