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Chile’s soccer teams eye historic gold medals at Pan Am Games

Chilean men and women advance to soccer finals

Chile is celebrating a double success in soccer at the Pan American Games in Santiago, as both the men’s and women’s teams have reached the gold medal matches. The hosts defeated the United States in both semifinals, with the men winning 1-0 on Wednesday and the women winning 2-1 on Tuesday. This is the first time that Chile has qualified for both soccer finals at the same edition of the Games.

The Chilean men have never won Pan Am Games gold and only once before, in 1987, appeared in the final losing to Brazil while the women have never before got to the semi-finals. Cesar Perez’s 57th minute strike was enough to see the hosts through to Saturday’s final as the Americans failed to register a shot on target the entire match. Chile’s win setup a rematch of the 1987 final against Brazil, who advanced with 1-0 win over Mexico.

The Chilean women will face Mexico for gold on Friday, after beating the defending champions USA in a thrilling encounter. The hosts took an early lead through Maria Jose Rojas, but the Americans equalized before halftime through Catarina Macario. The decisive goal came in the 76th minute, when Daniela Zamora converted a penalty after a foul on Rojas.

Chile’s soccer teams eye historic gold medals at Pan Am Games

Chile hopes for golden finish to ease World Cup disappointment

The soccer-mad country is dreaming of the ultimate golden finish to the Games that no doubt would ease some of the sting of being left out of FIFA plans to host 2030 World Cup soccer matches. Chile had made a joint bid alongside Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to stage the opening games in 2030 but was the only one of those countries not to be given a match. Co-hosts Spain, Portugal and Morocco will stage the majority of the tournament and the South American countries will host one game each.

Chile’s soccer federation president Pablo Milad expressed his frustration at the decision, saying that it was unfair and disrespectful to Chile’s history and tradition in the sport. He also said that he would seek legal action against FIFA for violating the bidding rules. However, he also congratulated the Chilean teams for their achievements at the Pan Am Games and urged them to make history by winning gold.

Other highlights from Wednesday’s action

It was not only soccer that brought joy to the home crowd on Wednesday, as Martina Weil powered to women’s 400 metre gold at the Estadio Nacional, where the 1962 World Cup final was played. Weil, who is coached by her mother, who was the 400m bronze medallist at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, charged through an evening drizzle to clock a winning time of 51.48 seconds.

Brazil’s Lucas Conceicao came home first in the men’s 400m while the United States Deanna Price won the women’s hammer throw adding Pan Am gold to her 2019 world champion title. Andrea Vargas gave Costa Rica their first gold of the Games successfully defending her 2019 Pan Am title in the 100m hurdles while Brazil’s Eduardo Rodrigues won the men’s.

Led by double Olympic champion McLain Ward, the U.S. won the equestrian team jumping gold ahead of Canada and Brazil. With the win, the Americans secured their Paris Olympics spot along with silver medalists Canada and fourth place finishers Mexico. Bronze medallist Brazil had already qualified for a Paris quota spot.

In fencing, the United States Andrew Doddo beat Venezuela’s Eliecer Jose Parra 15-11 to win the men’s sabre while Argentina’s Clara Isabel Di Tella won the women’s epee. The women’s squash singles battle for gold was an all-American showdown with Olivia Fiechter taking top spot over Amanda Sobhy.

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