TORONTO – Samuel Charron of Ottawa was Canada’s scorer in a 3-1 loss to Argentina on Saturday in football 7 action at the Parapan American Games. It was the opening round robin match for both teams.
Argentina took a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals by Mariano Cortes in the fourth minute and Rodrigo Lunin in extra time.
But the Canadians buoyed by an enthusiastic crowd at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Field at the University of Toronto came out flying in the second half. They dominated the first 15 minutes capped by Charron’s goal, who broke free on the left side to fire a shot by Argentinian goaltender Gustavo Nahuelquin.
“I’ve never played in front of a crowd like that and to score that goal was unreal feeling for me,” said Charron, 17, one of four players on Team Canada aged under-20. “They gave us lot energy.”
But Mariano Morana’s goal in the 56th minute broke Canada’s momentum.
Trevor Stiles of Victoria who was brilliant in goal in the first half then played forward in the second says Canada has something to build on heading into its next match on Sunday.
“I have mixed emotions,” added veteran Trevor Stiles, who scored seven goals at the world championships in June where Canada placed 10th. “I felt we deserved better. We could have won but they capitalized on our errors.”
The players in football 7-a-side have cerebral palsy or a similar neurological disorder. There are no off-side rules and matches are 60 minutes (30 per half). There are four classifications and each side must maintain a line-up featuring players with varying levels of impairments.
In the other match Saturday, Brazil defeated Venezuela 7-0.
On Sunday, Canada plays the U.S. at 11 a.m. preceded by Venezuela against Argentina at 9 a.m.
Canada must win the gold medal to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Media attaché 7-a-side football