USA Defeats Venezuela 23-20 in Game 1

The US Mens Team Handball National playing in the classification tournament for the final position at the 2007 Pan Am Games, beat the Venezuela National Team 23-20. It was the opening game in the 3 team tournament being held in Santiago Chile. The US Men were led by Danny Caparelli in goal (18 saves) and Gary Hines with 11 goals.

Venezuela took an early lead in the game, scoring some easy goals from the backcourt and with break through goals at 6 meters. The US defense, in particular, had problems with multiple backcourt crosses. The score at the half was 13-10 Venezuela.

In the 2nd half the US came out strong with Gary Hines scoring 3 in the first 5 min. Darrick Heath anchored the US defense and Danny Caparelli made several saves on fastbreaks and wing and circle shots.

With about 5 minutes to go and the US leading by 1 goal, Jeff Goss got his 3rd 2 minute penalty and the automatic red card. Venezuela was unable, however, to tie the score with the man advantage. Instead, the US extended their lead to two goals, courtesy of a Patrick Oliver circle shot. Oliver then stole a pass on the Venezuela throw in at half court and dribbled down and scored to insure the victory.

The US plays Chile at 6pm on Saturday night. If the US wins, they will clinch the tournament. A Chile win or draw, will put Chile in the driver's seat heading into the final match of the tournament against Venezuela

Standings (W D L Points GF GA GD)
USA 1 0 0 2pts 23 20 +3
Chile 0 0 0 0pts 0 0 0
Venezuela 0 0 0pts 20 23 -3