USMNT Tops Nigeria in High Scoring Contest at FIH Hockey5s World Cup
MUSCAT, Oman – The match to decide the 13th to 14th place finisher of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup was a goal-packed, high scoring contest. After the U.S. Men’s National Team held the halftime lead, 13 goals were tallied in the second period as the Wolves held on to top Nigeria, 10-9.
"10-9, it was a hard fought match, they came out really hard and it definitely wasn't an easy game for us," commented Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), USMNT Captain, after the game. "We were two men down with some injuries, so we had to fight and dig deep - but we are happy to come up with the win in our last match."
"“I am please that the team finished with win," added Harry Singh, USMNT Head Coach. "There is lot energy out by Nigeria side but our squad responded with good mentality. This game was open for any team and we finally closed the game with win. I am proud of our players mental and discipline on pitch.”
Nigeria opened the scoring just 2 minutes in when Dennis Solomon collected and put it past USA goalkeeper Hamzah Hashmi (Granada Hills, Calif.). USA didn’t sit back and threatened with a few shots and saw a challenge go unrewarded. In the 9th minute, Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) struck from distance to even the game. A minute later, Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) gave the Wolves the lead with a backhand finish into the far top corner. The final 3 minutes saw a goal per minute. The first came for USA after Sekayi Charasika (Louisville, Ky.) pressured Nigeria goalkeeper Mustapha Abdullahi with some shots, he converted to make it 3-1. Next, Harris found space and unleashed into the far corner. With 36 seconds to go before the break, Sunday Godwin gave Nigeria one back to make the halftime score 4-2.
The second half was full of goals, as 13 were posted in the 15 minute period. Nigeria cut it within one to start, before USA responded with a give and go goal that ended with Gerald Cutone (Middleton, Mass.). Godwin tallied back-to-back for Nigeria, before Harris answered with a one-time shot to make it 6-5. In the 25th minute, Nigeria’s Solomon evened it, but seconds later Charasika put the Wolves back on top, notching the eventual game winner. USA and Nigeria traded goals from the 26th minute onward, as Henzor Motta (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Montilla twice adding for the Wolves, to make the final 10-9.
For more information regarding the FIH Hockey5s World Cup, visit the event page.
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