Game 2 of the Pan American Team Handball Federation (PATHF) 2nd chance tournament ended in a dramatic 23-23 draw. According to a recap provided by USA Team Leader, Jim Thome, the match was a see-saw affair throughout with the largest lead being a 3 goal lead for the U.S. The match was a physical affair with 15 two minute penalties being assessed (8 for Uruguay and 7 for the U.S.)
A further account of the match including the last minute is at the USA Federation site: http://usateamhandball.org/news/2011/06/04/usa-ties-uruguay-in-second-chance-tournament/42643
Qualification for the PANAM games will now come down to goal differential in the final match between USA and Guatemala later today. On Friday, Uruguay beat Guatemala, 20-12, so a 9 goal or more USA victory would put the USA at the top of the table. A 7 goal or fewer win would see Uruguay qualify. An 8 goal victory would revert to the next tie breaker, total goals scored, so the U.S. will be looking to score 21 or more goals in the match.
Guatemala cannot win the title, but as host, can play the spoiler. For a young team playing in front of a home crowd against the big country to the North this will surely be a challenge they will relish.
Note: I now plan to interview Mark Ortega after Sunday’s match. Throw off is at 6:00 PM local (8:00 PM East Coast Time). I will try to post the interview by 11:00 PM East Coast time.