The Brazilian men’s and women’s goalball teams will return home with gold medals in their luggage following their respective victories over the USA at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games in Peru on Saturday (31 August).
Brazil just edged the USA to the top of the podium in a dramatic conclusion to the women’s, requiring double overtime to get their hands on the gold.
A low-scoring game ended 3-3 at full-time.
Eliana Mason gave her team the lead just under three minutes in, finding the corner of the Brazilian net.
Ana Carolina Custodio had to wait for another seven minutes before she could draw even for Brazil.
Lisa Czechowski’s bouncing effort with 43 seconds left on the clock closed the half at 2-1 to the USA.
At the start of the second period Brazil had a long ball goal disallowed before Amanda Dennis capitalised on the return penalty.
Just moments later Victoria Nascimento added Brazil’s second. A game defined by the defensive prowess of both teams was disrupted by Jessica Vitorino with 14 seconds left to run, forcing overtime.
It was once again Custodio who gave her team the win.
Repeating her performance from Brazil’s semi-final against Canada, Custodio netted the winner in the second overtime.
Emma Reinke was the top scorer in Canada’s 10-0 victory over Mexico for bronze.
Reinke’s five goals were added to by Amy Burk, Whitney Bogart and Maryam Salehizadeh.
Burk ended Lima 2019 as the women’s Top Scorer bagging 23 goals. Custodio was second with 19 and Mexico’s Maria Angulo, Dennis and Vitorino shared third place.
The Brazilian men left Lima with their own title after a 12-9 win over the USA.
The scene was set in the first minute when Alex Sousa opened Brazil’s account but an immediate reply came from Josh Welborn.
The US then gave away three successive long ball penalties, all of which were converted by Leomon Moreno for a 4-1 lead.
Brazil slipped up with their own penalty call and Tyler Merren happily obliged to double his team’s total.
With just over five minutes left on the clock, Calahan Young bought the US to within one goal of their opponents.
The shock seemed to spur Brazil into action and they found their rhythm. Four more goals, including another penalty, came from Moreno and Sousa to end the half 8-3.
At the restart Moreno added another with the first shot but the USA were not going down without a fight. Matthew Simpson kept their hopes alive, slotting one past the Brazilian line.
Two more goals came for Moreno and it seemed that Brazil were running away with the match.
But the USA had other ideas. An impressive five goals came from Welborn, Simpson, Young and Daryl Walker to propel the north American side right back into the game.
With the deficit now only two, both teams had just one minute to finally stamp their authority on the game. It was the defending champions who had the edge as Moreno settled the tie with his final goal of the tournament and 36 seconds left on the clock.
Canada claimed bronze despite a second-half surge from their Venezuelan opponents.
Bruno Hache gave the Canadians the best possible start with three goals without reply. He doubled his tally later throughout the second half and was joined by Blair Nesbitt to give his team a 7-4 lead.
Wilmer Jesus Zambrano kept his team in contention, scoring all of Venezuela’s first-half goals.
Hache once again opened the scoring after the whistle but a comeback from Venezuela was just around the corner.
Zambrano and Carlos Enrique Linarez teamed-up to bring them right back into contention and level the scores at 8-8.
Hache fought back but Linarez and Zambrano were reluctant to let the tie get away from them. Linarez equalled followed shortly after by Zambrano to give Venezuela the lead for the first time in the game.
Nesbitt, sensing the bronze medal potentially slipping away, bagged three goals in two minutes to restore a bit of breathing space. Jhonathan Ferrer kept Venezuela within reach but Nesbitt was waiting to strike again, powering Canadas 13th goal home to conclude the scoring at 13-11.
Zambrano ends the tournament as the Top Goalscorer, netting an impressive 34 goals.
Hache and Blair share second and third with 23 goals each.
Full results from Lima can be found at the official website.