Day 6 recap - 2015 Toronto Parapan Am Games
By Nathan Bragg
Day six in Toronto began with Argentina playing Chile for 5th place bragging rights followed by two semi-final matches that determined what medal color the teams will play for on Friday evening.
Argentina 56 Chile 34
Chile showed great improvement in their final game at the Parapan Am Games, but it still wasn’t enough to get past the more experienced Argentinian side. Juan Herrera was once again electric for the victors as he led all scorers with 15 goals and did a much greater job decision making to finish the competition.
Argentina was able to get the bench involved throughout the game and received strong contributions from young players Brian Nascimento and Leonardo Abess. After the game Matias Cardozo said that his team learned that they need to train harder after failing to make the semifinals. Cardozo also called the fan support in Toronto “beautiful”.
Chile has to be pleased with their improvement throughout the week as they scored a team-high 34 goals in the match and showed an improved pressure defense. Look for Chile to be a team on the rise in the Americas Zone in the next few years, as they have several new players with lots of potential.
Canada 62 Brazil 38
Canada booked their place in the gold medal match getting past a fiery Brazilian team that went down swinging. It was another dominant offensive display by Canada’s Zak Madell who leads the tournament with 109 goals and led Canada with 17 goals in the win. His combination of power and pace proved to be a real challenge for Brazil.
Brazil came out strong in the early going and was much better than they were against Canada on Saturday. With a spot in next year’s Paralympics as the host nation, the semifinal served as an important step on the program’s road to Rio and gave them another look at an elite teams
Brazilian Jose Higino called it their “best game of this tournament,” despite losing by a large margin and he expects the team to be even better in the bronze medal game.
Depth is strength of both programs; Kevin Orr and Luis Pena both heavily rotated their squad and got a final chance to test out lines before their respective medal games. As wheelchair rugby has only been played in Brazil for ten years this is a testament to how well their program has and continues to develop.
United States 65 Colombia 28
Colombia came out full of fire against the powerful Americans but in the end they proved overmatched against the faster and more experienced team.
The Americans ran multiple lines in preparation for the gold medal match and their defense caused a number of Colombian turnovers. A strong second quarter put them up 18 and they never looked back as they continued to dominate during the second half
Young Clayton Brackett continued his strong play and led the United States with 20 goals. For Colombia, Christian Amaya Farjado led the way with seven goals.
The medal games start at 6:30 PM EST and can be watched live at IWRF.com