Canada wins silver in men's field hockey after loss to Argentina at Pan Am Games
TORONTO — Canada settled for silver in men's field hockey at the Pan American Games after dropping a 3-0 decision to Argentina on Saturday night.
Argentine defender Pedro Ibarra opened the scoring for the defending champions in the 25th minute by deflecting a shot from the striking circle that barely cleared the line.
Lucas Vila made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute when he got his stick on a sharp-angled shot from Agustin Mazzili. Manuel Brunet put the game out of reach with a goal in the 47th minute.
Vila was a force on the Pan Am Field at the University of Toronto campus from the start of the game. He had the first good scoring chance in the second minute by deflecting a shot that tested Canadian goalkeeper David Carter.
The forward showed his skill moments later by cleverly pushing the ball down the line while eluding a pair of Canadian defenders. Vila made it to the corner but his cross was chipped away.
Iain Smythe had the first good scoring opportunity for Canada in the 23rd minute. He stretched for the ball as it was fed into the goalmouth but couldn't get a decent shot away.
Both teams had some penalty corner chances in the second period but Carter and Argentine goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi made some impressive saves.
The partisan near-capacity crowd of about 1,800 fans had little to cheer for in the third period as Argentina kept the pressure on while using stifling defence to prevent the home side from mounting an attack.
Early in the fourth, Brunet tacked on an insurance goal by fighting off several defenders and roofing a shot from a sharp angle.
Canada mounted some pressure in the 51st minute. Sukhi Panesar had an open shot from beside the five-yard mark but Vivaldi made a nice pad save.
Canada and Argentina have met in the previous 10 Pan American field hockey gold-medal games with the Argentines taking gold six times.
Chile defeated Brazil 4-1 to win bronze earlier in the day.
Canada beat Brazil in a shootout on Thursday night to clinch a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It will be the team's first Olympic appearance since the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The United States defeated Argentina on Friday night to win the women's gold. Canada beat Chile for the bronze.
The Canadian Press