Paralympic, world and regional champions Brazil added the latest silverware to their growing collection in Lima, Peru, on Friday (31 August), winning the 2019 Parapan American Games title against Argentina.
Brazil were the defending champions going into the match which added the latest chapter to their rivalry with Argentina.
Earlier on 2019 the Brazilians had reclaimed the Copa America from their south American counterparts, but had a somewhat shaky start in Peru. They drew their opening two matches 0-0 including against Argentina.
It was therefore all to play for at the Villa María del Triunfo Sports Complex on Friday.
The tension was shattered seven minutes into the first half when Jeferson found a way past Dario Lencina.
With a narrow 1-0 lead both teams kept frantically searching for a goal. It was not until Cassio Lopes powered a shot into the back of the Argentinian net in the 36th minute that Brazil had the breathing space they needed. That handed them the victory and their fourth straight title since blind football was added to the Parapan Games programme in 2007.
A lone goal from Francisco Javie Rangel Monreal secured bronze for Mexico in their game against Colombia. The goal came against the run of play with Colombia pushing hard and making chances.
The 1-0 win meant that the Mexicans equalled their performance from four years ago in Toronto, Canada.
In goalball, the USA and Brazil will face-off for gold in a repeat of the final from Toronto 2015 following the women’s semi-finals.
Back then Brazil claimed the title by just one goal and both teams will be looking for a strong performance to assess their progress, and opponents, with under one year to go until Tokyo 2020.
Brazil’s path to the final in Lima included a dramatic 4-3 over-time victory over Canada on Friday.
Canada started the match strong with two goals from Amy Burk but Brazil managed to level up before half-time. Ana Carolina Custodio and Victoria Nascimento shared the load with one goal each.
Custodio then gave Brazil the lead but Burk equalled the score to force the game into overtime.
Both teams pushed hard to break the deadlock over the gruelling minutes that followed.
Custodio proved to be the heroine for Brazil with just six seconds left on the clock, powering a ball past the Canadian defence to end the match.
The USA secured their final place with a strong 10-1 win over Mexico.
Amanda Dennis bagged a hat-trick mid-way through the first half, reaching the feat within the space of one minute.
Eliana Mason joined her to bring the US score to 4 with only one in reply from Mexico’s Maria Angulo.
Into the second half the USA really found their groove. Six goals, including two each from Mason and Shavon Lockhardt, completed the USA’s tally.
The medal matches in both the men’s and women’s will take place on Saturday (31 August).
Full results from Lima can be found at the official website, as well as live coverage of the sports.