Argentina’s Las Leonas are champions winning the final of the 2013 Pan American Cup after beating United States 1-0. The only goal was scored by Delfina Merino in the 55 th minute . It is their fourth consecutive title in this international competition having won it in 2001 Jamaica, Barbados ,Bermuda in 2004 and 2009 respectively.
The first half was relatively evenly matched but overall the game was hard fought and defensive the locals, enjoying the lionessses share of the possession and challenging their rivals in attack more frequently. The United States kept a tight defence making it difficult for the Argenine forewards to break through.Their clearest chance came from a shot from Katie O'Donnell, but was ably cleared by Belen Succi who has returned to the squad having retired previously in Olympic year in favour of motherhood.
Argentina were always the sharper and despite Martina Cavallero Rosario Luchetti coming close Alesha Widdall prevented any increase in the score . Earlier, in a short, Noel Barrionuevo also failed to get the ball past her.
An emergent United States played a very physical game and pressed throughout and despite being perhaps dominated during the match, showed their ability to cause the Olympic silver medallists a number of problems.
The only goal was as the result of a solo effort from Delfina Merino on 55 minutes.
With Craig Parnham's squad on the back foot they were forced to seek the equaliser , but neve really generated too much danger and thereafter neither team recorded direct shots on goal,so the score did not change.
In the other games on the day , the results were Guyana 2-3 Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay (3) 1-1 (4) 2-1 Canada Mexico and Chile. The final positions, therefore, were: 1 Argentina, 2nd United States, Canada 3rd, 4th Chile, Mexico 5th, 6th Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago 7th, 8th Guyana.
Prizes - Fair Play: Guyana. Best goalkeeper: Claudia Schuler (CHI). Best player: Luciana Aymar (ARG).Top- Scorer: Carla Rebecchi (ARG) with 10 points.
Belén Succi,( keeper) Macarena Rodriguez, Silvina D'Elia, Noel Barrionuevo, Mariana Rossi, Daniela Sruoga, Luciana Aymar, Florencia Habif, Rosario Luchetti, Carla Rebecchi, Martina Cavallero.Entered: Delfina Merino, Rocio Sanchez Moccia, Agustina Albertario, Mariela Scarone, Pilar Roang, Julia Gomes Fantasia. (Head Coach Emanuel Roggero.)
Umpires : Frances Block (ENG) and Ayanna McClean (TTO)
USA Squad : Alesha Widdall; Jamie Montgomery, Rachel Dawson, Lauren Crandall ˆ, Stefanie Fee, Katie Reinprecht, Katelyn Falgowski, Michelle Kasold, Katie O'Donnell, Melissa Gonzélz, Paige Selenski. Entered: Kelsey Kolojejchick, Shannon Taylor, Meghan Beamesderfer, Jill Witmer, Kathleen Sharkey, Caitlin Van Sickle. Coach: Craig Parnham.
For updates and further information about this competition check put the official website PAN AMERICAN HOCKEY FEDERATIONTrabslated by John Coxon from the original Spanish press release courtesy of Press CAH / Rodrigo Spiess
photo Getty Images