PHOTO: Canada’s Johnny Gill take a dragflick against Guyana May 23 at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in Toronto (Photo: Yan Huckendubler)
After two close games which ended in losses, Canada’s Under-21 men picked up their first win of the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship, 8-0 against Guyana, Monday in Toronto.
Heading into the match, Canada and Guyana were both winless, meaning the winner of Monday’s tilt would end up in third place in Pool B and face Pool A’s second place finisher Trinidad and Tobago in Wednesday’s quarterfinal (12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET).
Canadian captain Brandon Pereira picked up two goals, both on penalty corners, in a match which saw four of Canada’s seven goals come from the set piece. Forward Kabir Aujla also scored twice.
Johnny Gill, Amrit Sidhu, Shahbaaz Dhaliwal, and Thomson Harris rounded out Canada’s scoring.
Canada began with a chance to score early, when in the 4th minute Balraj Panesar walked his way to the top of the circle and quickly hit a ball just wide right of the goal.
In the 10th minute, Canada was given its first corner of the match and Gill’s dragflick was blocked by a Guyanaise foot. The ensuing re-do resulted in the game’s first goal when Pereira put a flick by keeper Medroy Scotland.
That began an onslaught of Canadian possession and corners and Canada added another two goals – both from corners – coming off the sticks of Gills and Sidhu.
The Canadians controlled the game from start to finish, only giving up two scoring opportunities Guyana.
The first came in the 46th minute, but Canada’s goalkeeper Cameron Bonney – making his first start of the competition after coming in for the second half against Chile in Canada’s second game – was not forced to make a save as lead-runner Harris blocked the attempt.
The ball went the other way on the counter attack and Dhaliwal converted off the rush to put Canada up 5-0.
Bonney made a save on a deflection in the 56th minute, when the game was securely in Canada’s hands.
The win sets up Wednesday’s quarterfinal match against Trindad and Tobago, which finished second in Pool A with two wins and one loss in three pool matches.
Canada’s quarterfinal match against Trinidad and Tobago is at 12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET on Wednesday and can be watched live online here.
Post-match interview with Amrit Sidhu: