USMNT Tops Fiji Behind Strong Scoring Performance in First FIH Hockey5s World Cup Match
MUSCAT, Oman – In their first pool match of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Muscat, Oman, the U.S. Men’s National Team put up a strong scoring performance over Fiji. After a relatively even first half, the Wolves pulled away in the second for the 14-3 win.
"I am please with the first match result but at the same time, we must focus on our next two games," said Harry Singh, USMNT Head Coach. "Our upcoming matches will be challenging so we are looking at one match at a time."
The first half was evenly action packed, as nine goals were put on the board. USA opened the scoring in the 3rd minute, when Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) turned and fired a shot that snuck through Fiji goalkeeper’s legs. After a failed challenge attempt by the Wolves, Fiji responded when George Ravatu scored. The 2 minutes between the 6th and 8th span, the score line changed four times. First, Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.) got the go ahead and within the same minute Leevan Dutta evened it at 2-2. Next, Fiji was successful on a challenge through Adrian Smith, but that lead was short lived as Barminski sent it off the boards and Mohan Gandhi (Great Britain) was on the rebound. USA added three more in the last 5 minutes through Montilla, Barminski and Sekayi Charasika (Louisville, Ky.) to take the 6-3 lead at the break.
At the start of the second, it looked like Fiji added one back but the goal was disallowed for use of the back of the stick. The Wolves went on to add eight goals in 8 minutes to secure the victory. Both Charasika and Henzor Motta (San Juan, Puerto Rico) added two, and Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), Montilla, Gerald Cutone (Middleton, Mass.) and Gandhi had one. In the 28th minute, Amar Singh (Santa Clara, Calif.) checked in to goal for USA.
“It was a hard fight,” commented Montilla, who registered three goals today. “Hockey5s can change in a minute. We struggled to defend a few goals in the first half, but worked on our defense minute-by-minute and we are happy to take the win.”
Today's contest marked first international caps for six USA athletes in Sekayi Charasika, Mohan Gandhi, Pat Harris, Hamzah Hashmi (Granada Hills, Calif.), Alberto Montilla and Amar Singh.
Next, USA will play Malaysia today at 11:30 a.m. ET.
For more information regarding the FIH Hockey5s World Cup, visit the event page.
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