U.S. PNT Meets Argentina in Key Parapan American Games Showdown
USA Has Opened Tournament with Back-to-Back Shutouts;
Can Advance to the Medal Round with Win vs. Argentina at 9:30 a.m. ET
LIMA, Peru (Aug. 25, 2019) – After posting back-to-back shutout victories over Colombia and Venezuela to start the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, the U.S. Para 7-a-Side National Team now prepares for a tougher contest Monday against South American rival Argentina (9:30 a.m. ET). The game could be key to the USA’s chances of advancing to the medal round.
The USA began the tournament with a 5-0 win over Colombia on Saturday. Cameron DeLillo and Seth Jahn each scored twice and Drew Bremer added a fifth. On Sunday the USA made it back-to-back shutouts by defeating Venezuela 6-0. DeLillo continued his hot start with four goals, Bremer added another, and Nick Mayhugh, who led the team in goals at the IFCFP World Cup, notched his first of this tournament. Sean Boyle saved a penalty kick to preserve the clean sheet.
“It’s of course always nice to start the competition with two wins and two clean sheets, but we know we have some tougher tests ahead of us,” U.S. head coach Stuart Sharp said. “With our squad depth we have been able to rotate personnel, which is important with the back-to-back games with no-rest-day format.”
The USA and Argentina have a competitive history in 7-a-Side, with the Red-White-and-Blue taking the most recent meeting – a convincing 6-0 rout last month in the placement game at the IFCPF World Cup in Sevilla, Spain.
“Monday’s game against Argentina is something we are looking forward to and it will have an extra edge to it after our dominant performance against them last month,” Sharp said. “I’m sure they will be out for some revenge.”
The World Cup victory was the USA’s first over Argentina in a tournament in some time. At the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil, Argentina edged the USA 3-2 in heartbreaking fashion with two stoppage time goals. Argentina also defeated the USA 1-0 at the 2018 Copa America in Ecuador.
Argentina began the Parapan American Games with a 7-1 win over Venezuela before falling to Brazil, 0-2, on Sunday. The USA and Brazil are the only teams to win their first two games. Argentina and Colombia are 1-1-0, while Peru and Venezuela are 0-2-0.
“There will be some variables against Argentina that we can’t control, but if we execute our game plan and don’t get drawn into a scrape, I am confident we can progress into the Gold medal match,” Sharp added.
A win over Argentina would put the USA in prime position to advance to the medal round. Following Monday’s game, the USA will play Brazil on Wednesday and Peru on Thursday. Peru lost its first two games to Brazil and Colombia by a combined 22-0. The top two teams after the group stage will play for Gold and Silver, and the next two teams will battle for the bronze.
Monday’s match against Argentina kicks off at 9:30 a.m. ET. Fans can follow along at Paralympics.org/lima-2019 and follow the team on twitter @ussoccer_pnt and Instagram at @ussoccer_pnt.