Aussie Sharks attack USA and take home the spoils, for now…


Aussie Sharks head coach Tim Hamill

Match heroes
Aussie Sharks co-captain Blake Edwards was undoubtedly the player of the match with his four goals from 10 attempts. He was the go-to man at the end, plugging the winner from his favoured deep-right-hand-catch position. In fact, it was his third of the period, scoring the ninth and 10th goals. He was ably backed up by his fellow captain Nathan Power with three goals, the seventh with a centre-forward backhand and the eighth on the next attack from the top left. His third came off a rebound at two metres for 11-10. Luke Pavillard scored twice — a penalty strike and a centre-forward scoop shot, but was thwarted on another eight occasions. USA’s  Ben Stevenson scored three, on counter, at the top on extra and from the penalty line, the latter for the 10-9 go-ahead goal. Chase Dodd scored twice from the right-hand-catch position, but hit the left upright with his penalty attempt when 4-3 ahead. Thomas Gruwell added two more from outside. USA goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg notched 13 saves in an excellent showing. First-quarter goal-scorer Timothy Putt failed to see out the match, finished with a heavily bandaged left eye.

Turning points
The Aussie Sharks went from 2-1 down to 3-2 ahead by quarter time. USA kept Australia scoreless in the second quarter and scored the first of the third for a 5-3 advantage. Edwards and Pavillard equalised; USA shot ahead through Gruwell and Jake Ehrhardt before it swung Australia’s way again for 8-7. It went back to USA, scoring either side of the final break. Edwards snatched the draw; Stevenson reclaimed the lead before Edwards and Power grabbed it back for the Sharks — 11-10. Sawyer Rhodes converted a penalty at 0:53 and Edwards converted extra-man attack at 0:29. USA tried for the equaliser with a timeout ploy that saw the ball bounce away to the right, giving Australia the win and top spot in the rounds and No 1 seeding for the semifinals..

Stats don’t lie
Australia had four more shots, produced better extra-man statistics with 4/7 compared to 2/6; made seven steals to five and forced three offensives and three turnovers. USA needed to make 14 blocks to 10.

Bottom line
Australia critically won the match through extra-man goals as both teams were even throughout. The score could have been a wider margin for Australia if Weinberg hadn’t had such a super day in goal. The top four in Lima are all considered hot shots for the final on Sunday, but the possibility remains that USA could make the final and possibly turn the tables on Australia. However, there are many buts in that scenario, even though all four have done what they came to do and qualify for Strasbourg on July 24-29.

Brazil the pride of South America with two gigantic prizes

With the winner going to Budapest 2022, this was always going to be a close encounter. Brazil made the early charge, closing the quarter 2-1 and then hitting 3-1 and 5-2 by halftime. Gustavo Guimaraes and Gustavo Coutinho both scored penalty goals. Argentina then decided to get into the match with Carlos Camnasio claiming two penalty goals as the match was tied at 6-6. Coutinho scored a second with a smart lob shot for the 7-6 lead, but Esteban Corsi drilled one from deep right and Camnasio netted his third from top left for the 8-7 advantage. It was short-lived as Rafael Real levelled with  a blast from the top on extra. Bruno Chappini, scored from the right, and man-of-the-match Real scored again, this time on counter, putting the score at 10-8 in Brazil’s favour. Tomas Galimberto took exception and made it 10-9 with a six-metre-foul score at 0:21. Goals were traded at the top of the fourth and Guimaraes converted his second penalty for 12-10 at 4:26. Both teams put up the shutters and it was not until 0:33 that Camnasio scored a brilliant counter goal, moving his arm around the goalkeeper in the process for 12-11. When Argentina took a timeout there was confusion in the ensuing play and it lost the ball for Brazil to take the match, a semifinal berth, and probably more importantly, a slot in the top 16 at Budapest 2022.

Coutinho and Real claimed three goals each for Brazil while Camnasio topped the scoring for Argentina with four and three others made two — Ramiro Veich, Guido Martino and Corsi. Argentinian goalkeeper Diego Malnero dragged down 11 shots. In the statistics,  both teams had similar shots — 30/32; Brazil had the better of extra-man attack — 3/6 to 2/8; Brazil converted three penalties to two; and won the offensive fouls — 4/2 — and turnovers — 2/1. Argentina won the steals 8/3 and the blocks 15/13. 

Canada gets second win without a penalty shootout

Canada gained its second win by three points — to go with two penalty-shootout victories that attracted just two points each. However, it secured third spot on the ladder and can be proud of the fact of beating top-ranked Australia and losing by just one goal to second-placed USA. Against Colombia it was a romp, racing to 5-0 at the first break and 8-0 before stunning Colombia into action. Goals were traded to 10-2; Colombian captain Enzo Salinas had a penalty attempt blocked, but scored the next goal to trail 10-3 at halftime. Maxim Schapowal started the third period for 11-3 with Santiago Ortiz on extra and Salinas from deep left with the goalkeeper all over him, skipping the ball into goal, lifting the score to 11-5. Jeremie Coté, who scored the 8-0 goal, sent in consecutive goals — one a beautiful counter-attack lob — for 13-5. Canada reached its final mark with the only goal of the final period, Sean Spooner converting extra-man attack from deep right.

Player of the Match Samuel Reiher receiving his trophy from TWPC Member Alan Balfanbayev

Jeremie Coté was the only three-goal hunter with Bogdan Djerkovic scoring the opening two goals brilliantly from two metres and Justin Coté and Aria Soleimanipak netting twice. Ortiz and Salinas scored twice each for Colombia. Canada was the higher shooter — 30/23; won extra-man attack — 2/3 to 1/8; took 15 steals to 8 and proved even in other departments.


Final Points table:

Australia 13, USA 12, Canada 10, Brazil 6, Argentina 4, Colombia 0.


Saturday line-ups

It’s classification time and day six sees Argentina and Colombia (19-4 on Tuesday) play for fifth place to end their tournaments. In the semifinals, top-seeded Australia plays fourth-ranked Brazil (10-9 in the round-robin) and second-ranked USA takes on third-placed Canada (10-9). The semifinals make for tantalising watching