Brazil Women win gold with dominating performance

Brazilian women celebrate after easy win vs Argentina

Brazil easily defeated rival Argentina 35-16 on Saturday to win the Gold Medal at the Women’s Pan American Championships.  The contest was never in doubt as Brazil held Argentina scoreless for the first 13 minutes on the way to a 22-5 halftime lead.  Throughout the tournament, Brazil was clearly the best team with an average margin of victory of 19.2 goals.  The closest any team came was 15 goals by Cuba and Mexico in Group Play.

Looking ahead, the Brazilian women will be overwhelming favorites to win the Gold medal and Pan American Olympic spot at the PANAM Games in Guadalajara this October.  On top of that they also appear to be in good position for a breakthrough performance when they host the World Championships in December.  In 2009 they beat runner-up France in pool play, but then placed a disappointing 15th place after failing to qualify for the Main Round.  They’ve shown they can play with Europe’s best and with most of their roster now with several years of experience playing on top European clubs they know they have the talent.  Add the benefit of hosting the event a run to the semifinals is a distinct possibility.

With Brazil separating themselves from the rest of the pack it appears that the PATHF women’s team can currently be grouped as follows:

Tier 1:  Brazil
Tier 2: Argentina, Cuba
Tier 3: Uruguay, Chile, Dominican Republic
Tier 4: Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, USA, Canada

While it may be all but a foregone conclusion that Brazil will win Gold at the PANAM Games, the tournament does present an opportunity for teams to compete and show improvement against upper tier teams.  With Cuba not participating in the PANAM Games due to their decision not to play in the Central American and Caribbean there should be an interesting battle between the tier 3 (Uruguay, Chile and Dominican Republic) and tier 4 teams (Mexico, Puerto Rico and USA) for semifinal spots.  Beating Brazil and Argentina is not likely for those teams, but a bronze medal opportunity is certainly a possibility.