U-22 USMNT Defeated in Tight Match Against Argentina in JPAC Opener

by USA Field Hockey


51 photos

SANTIAGO, Chile – At the Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile, the U.S. U-22 Men’s National Team fell in a hard-fought, tight loss to Argentina in their 2021 Junior Pan American Championship opener. Unable to capitalize on multiple scoring chances, Los Leones made the most of their opportunities winning 2-0.


"I think we had a good start," said Pat Harris, U-22 UMSNT Head Coach. "There are some small fixes that we need to make but, overall, a good start. We had plenty of chances and tomorrow we’ll do better."


After USA controlled momentum on the defensive end, Argentina broke through when a sweep into the circle got through USA’s defense and Martin Fernandez scored in traffic. Two minutes later quick passing into the circle was rewarded when Brett Eisner (Lafayette, Calif.) earned USA a penalty corner but there was no outcome. With under four minutes to play, Argentina earned three penalty corners, and USA goalkeeper Shomik Chakraborty (Washington, D.C.) came up big with the saves. A chance to even the score came for USA with 1-minute to go when a close range shot from Amar Khokhar (Valencia, Calif.) off a penalty corner went just wide.


Majority of the second quarter was played between the 25-yard lines. Neither team had a positive look under two minutes on the clock when USA earned a penalty corner. The halftime score stood in favor of Argentina, 1-0.


Los Leones put USA under pressure, earning back-to-back penalty corners at the start of the third frame. Argentina continued on the front foot attacking their circle and forcing Chakraborty to make the saves. A close chance came when USA regained possession and threatened forward, and a right side build up ended with a shot by Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.) that went wide. Argentina almost extended the lead off a penalty corner drag that hit the post as the score remained, 1-0.


The persistence of Argentina’s attack continued in the fourth quarter, forcing Chakraborty and USA’s defensive unit to make critical stops. In the 48th minute, Bruno Stellato buried a penalty corner drag into the net to extend the lead to 2-0. USA continued to fight and a smart play to gain a 5-yard penalty call within the attacking 25 by Henzor Motta (San Juan, Puerto Rico) earned USA a penalty corner with five minutes remaining. Unable to find an outcome, a determined USA side were couldn’t to find the back of the goal as they fell, 2-0.


The USA men will return to the pitch tomorrow, August 24 for their final pool game against Trinidad and Tobago at 2:00 p.m. ET.


For more information regarding the 2021 Junior Pan American Championship, visit the event page.