(Photo: FIH)

Cross-over 5-8: Uruguay – Canada: 0 - 3

The two teams shared domination during the first half with more ball possession for Uruguay but the most dangerous chances for Canada. They capitalized on two penalty-corners by Katie Baker and Katie Rushton.

Andrea Rushton scored early in the second half on a good reverse stick shot and, with the result not in doubt any more, the intensity of the game diminished, with play often broken by unforced errors.

Cross-over 5-8: Cuba – Brazil: 7 - 0

There was a good moment before this game: when the Brazilian team arrived in the stands to watch the end of the previous match, the crowd gave them a rousing ovation. They might not score many goals in this competition, but these players are heartily supported by the fans and the girls at that very moment obviously felt like a million dollars.

On the field, they tried hard to keep the Cubans at bay, sometimes in a rather unorthodox style. Cuba looked disappointed to be in the second-tier cross-over and didn’t play with much enthusiasm, scoring only 2 field goals by Greter Roque Angulo in the first half, a limited score that seemed to satisfy the Brazilians.

In the second half, Cuba cruised to an easy 7-0 win (with a personal hat-trick for Angulo) but the Brazilians never let down their guard, even fighting beyond exhaustion in the heat of the day for one of them.

This result sets-up two revenges from pool play in the classification game: Canada-Cuba (5th-6th) and Uruguay-Brazil (7th-8th).

Semi-final: Argentina – Netherlands Antilles: 3 - 0

This semi-final game proved to be closer than anticipated between the star-studded Argentinean team and a team from the Netherlands Antilles with little international experience, despite their involvement in the strong Dutch Leagues.

Argentina capitalized quickly by Aymar then Gulla, on two defensive mistakes by the nervous Dutch Antilles defense. With the score already at 2-0 after 8 minutes, everybody was expecting an easy ride for Las Leonas, but it was anything but straightforward, even though the final result was never really in doubt.

Once they had settled down, the Netherlands Antilles deployed their tight defensive organization that considerably hampered the Argentinean play. Their strong individual skills allowed them to go toe to toe with the Argentineans, even mounting some daring attacks but without really threatening the Argentinean goal.

Some of the Argentinean players seemed upset by the tight marking to which they were subjected, but probably also by their lack of success at converting their overwhelming domination and numerous chances, often thwarted by the world-class performance of Marlieke van de Pas in the Dutch Antilles goal.

The score was still only 2-0 at half-time, and stayed as such until the last second of the game, when a penalty-corner (their 13th of the game) was finally converted by Maria Noel Barrionuevo to push the score to 3-0. Argentina logically advances to the Final, after a game that kept the crowd well entertained.

Semi-final: USA – Chile: 4 - 1

The other semi-final appeared to be another potential mismatch between the superiorly prepared Americans and the lowered ranked Chilean team. However, as showed by their strong game against Argentina earlier in the competition (1-2 loss after scoring the first goal), Chile was also at the top of their game and well decided to play their chances.

The USA dominated the first half, controlling the game and occupying well the field, but the Chileans were fighting for every ball and preventing any real threat to their goal. The Americans looked confident that their attempts would be finally rewarded but they were stunned by a last minute goal by Daniela Infante that gave the halftime lead to Chile.

The Americans stuck to their game plan and quickly grabbed back the lead in second half, first by a penalty-corner by Tiffany Snow, then by a field goal by Angie Loy less than a minute later. This sudden double blow somewhat deflated the Chileans and they started to commit defensive errors that allowed the Americans to push up the score to 4-1, setting up a women’s Final Argentina-USA, a repeat of 4 out of 5 previous Pan American Games.