Canada’s Red Caribou defeated the United States 3-2 to win the bronze medal at the XIX Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Oliver Scholfield scored the game-winning goal in his 100th appearance for Canada, while Brendan Guraliuk and Fin Boothroyd also got on the scoresheet. Christian de Angelis and Aki Kaeppeler scored for the United States the game also marked the 50th international for USA keeper Jonathan Klages, who had an outstanding tournament.
Play favoured Canada in the opening half but despite possession there were few threatening attacks. Guraliuk earned the first penalty corner for Canada and he was also the recipient of a rebound off a Gordie Johnston flick. Guraliuk made no mistake batting it out of the air and in to give Canada the early lead.
The USA had chances to draw level in the second quarter including a series of penalty corner from Kaeppeler after great attack from Marius Leser. Guraliuk ran down the first flick, while the second flew wide past the post.
Momentum took a shift in the final minutes of the first half and the USA were moving the ball well and catching Canada late to their marks. A ball towards the circle popped through and, with great instincts, De Angelis turned and fired on his first touch to beat Ethan McTavis and draw the game level, 1-1.
Both teams came out of the break trying to move the ball around the back field patiently. Boothroyd found some space on the left side of the circle and burning past his check was looking cross the ball. From an impossible baseline angle his back-hand cross ricocheted into the net to bring Canada ahead 2-1.
A defensive turnover led to a fast break and lots of space for Canada but Scholfield and Sean Davis’ combination was redirected out of harms way by the calm glove of Klages. McTavish denied a nifty USA penalty corner routine that had everyone thinking the flick was coming from Aki Kaeppeler but the rebound was punched out for a quick Canada counter-attack.
Canada extended their lead in the fourth quarter on another penalty corner rebound. This time, Johnston’s flick came off Klages and fell fortunately for Scholfield who made no mistake to bring his side up 3-1.
USA were not without their chances, earning seven penalty corners in the game and only capitalizing on one of them. Aki Kaeppeler cut Canada’s lead to one with six minutes to go, finally burying a penalty corner flick and giving his team a much-needed boost of energy.
A last-ditch effort sparked by some leadership from Pat Harris saw a pass go across the Canadian goal mouth and with McTavish already beat somehow could not find it’s way across the line.
The 3-2 win gives Canada just their second bronze at the Pan Americang Games after previously appearing in the last 14-straight finals.
Earlier in the day Trinidad and Tobago beat Peru 10-0 to finish seventh place. Teague Marcano scored six goals in the game. For fifth place, Brazil beat Mexico 2-0, an improvement in placings for both teams since the 2019 games.