In the opening game of the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 1 (WLR1), in Salamanca, Mexico Tuesday, after a hard fought first half the Bajan stick-men could not hold back the US or their captain William Holt who sealed the game with a double in the 3-1 win.
Both teams were a bit tentative at the start not having played each other recently. Their pace of the game was set by the need to feel out the opponents’ strategy and strengths. As the game progressed with both teams seeking dominance the officials were called to intervene with a pair of green cards each for both teams.
However, neither could gain the upper hand and both teams went into the dressing rooms at the half without having been able to find the mark.
The US quickly changed that two minutes into the half (37th), Nick Molcson scoring the game opener from open play. Three minutes later the US captain would convert a penalty corner to put his country two up.
Not to be left out the fight Jemar Small found the back of the net for the local boys. However, it was not to be enough or even the start of a comeback.
Holt again worked the ball past fellow captain Andre Boyce to seal the game for the US.
The local stick-men now enter a game of numbers as their only path into Sunday’s final will be to run up the tally on tournament minnows Guatemala and hope for at least a draw with Mexico. If the home team manage to work their home advantage and beat US, however, Barbados will need a victory in their last game against the hosts and hope their goal difference is healthy enough to give them the edge.