After a scintillating start to the second day of competitions at the São Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games, spectators were treated to even more excitement in the afternoon events at the Brazilian Paralympic Training Centre. The biggest attraction of the day came in the opening round of the 5-a-side football tournament, as hosts Brazil were beaten 1-0 by fierce rivals Argentina.
In front of an excited, yet well-behaved crowd, these two traditional foes contested a fascinating game which brought an end to the first matchday in the Football 5-a-side tournament, the sport practiced by visually impaired athletes.
The first half was evenly matched with chances for both sides, until the deadlock was broken by Argentina minutes before half-time, with a goal from team captain Nahuel López. In search of an equalizer, Brazil went on the attack in the second half but struggled to penetrate a well-organized Argentinian defence.
With minutes to go, both sides had chances to score from the penalty spot, with both Brazil and Argentina hitting the crossbar.
This debut defeat means that Brazil will have their work cut out for them in qualifying for the next round, seeing as in the other group match Colombia crushed Mexico 5-1.
In the sitting volleyball tournament, Team USA made their 2017 Youth Parapan bow as their women’s side defeated Venezuela two sets to one in a difficult match. The United States showed character to come from behind to win the first two sets.
Meanwhile, in table tennis, Canada’s medal hope Curtis Caron won his second match of the day, beating his Brazilian opponent in straight sets. Caron will now advance to the final phase of the tournament and is hopeful of winning gold.
Tuesday’s events were rounded off by matches in the men’s wheelchair basketball tournament, where there were big wins for Argentina, Mexico and hosts Brazil, who defeated El Salvador, Chile and Venezuela respectively.
The second day of the Youth Parapan also saw the tournament’s first medals, coming in the swimming pool, powerlifting and athletics.