Field Hockey: Argentina and the United States Crowned Champions at Pan American Games

Argentina and the United States were crowned Pan American champions in field hockey at the 2015 Pan American Games. The winner of each the men’s and women’s tournaments qualify to the Olympics while Brazil’s men have to finish higher than sixth place if they want to be given their host quota. Since the Brazilian women did not qualify Brazil has already lost the host quota to the women’s tournament. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The field hockey events were held from July 13th to July 25th 2015.

In terms of world rankings the women’s tournament went as planned during the group stage. Top 10 ranked Argentina and United States both dominated the field, though a defensive Chile kept United States’ win to 2-0. Going to the finals both Argentina and the United States had maintain a shut-out streak. Argentina’s shut-out streak was broken as the United States scored two goals in the third quarter to take the lead 2-0. Argentina was able to cut the lead late into the fourth quarter, but it was too late for them to score an equalizer. Instead the United States won the gold medal and Olympic quota by a score of 2-1. Canada defeated Chile 1-0 to win the bronze medal.

The group stage also went as expected during the men’s tournament as Argentina and Canada topped the group. Meanwhile Brazil was able to defeat Mexico 1-0 to finish third and possibly give them a better position to win their 5-8 semi-finals. It turned out Brazil had other plans as they tied the United States 1-1 in the quarterfinals and in the ensuing penalty shoot-out Brazil was able to win 3-1 and an automatic host berth to the Olympics. Brazil almost pulled off another unlikely upset in the semifinals by tying Canada 0-0; however, they were unable to repeat its success and lost 5-3 in the penalty shoot-out.

The final was to be a showdown between bitter rivals Argentina and Canada, the finalists of the Pan American Games for the 11th time in a row. By having Argentina reach the final Canada had ensured its spot to the Olympics either through the Pan American Games or should Argentina win they would take Argentina’s spot in the World League by being the next best non-qualified nation. It turned out their spot will come from the World League as Argentina scored a goal in the second, third and fourth quarters to win the Pan American title with a score of 3-0. Chile defeated Brazil 4-1 to win the bronze medal.

With Brazil’s qualification placing sixth in either of the men’s World League semi-final will not qualify you to the Olympics, provided there are no withdrawals from continental qualifiers. This requires New Zealand to win its continental qualifier should they want to take part in the Olympics. While the United States women were not already qualified through the World League, its qualification does not eliminate any team as they were next in line to receive a reallocation quota from a continental champion.

Men’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Argentina
  2. Canada
  3. Chile
  4. Brazil
  5. United States
  6. Mexico
  7. Trinidad and Tobago
  8. Cuba

Women’s Tournament Rankings

  1. United States
  2. Argentina
  3. Canada
  4. Chile
  5. Uruguay
  6. Mexico
  7. Dominican Republic
  8. Cuba

References

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