Uruguay sprang a major surprise in the fourth and final women’s Hockey World League Round 2 tournament, upsetting the applecart of Scotland 2-1 in a crucial league match in Rio di Janeiro, Brazil.
The stunning win has now put the tournament in an exciting state with three teams standing a decent chance of making the semifinal cut.
Uruguay absorbed the early Scotland pressure and exuded plenty of promise on the counterbreaks. The world number 50 team looked robust in defence and it was the tenacity of their backline that frustrated Scotland to no end.
The Uruguayans caught Scotland napping when they drew first blood in the 28th minute through Janine Stanley, who coolly deflected home off a penalty corner.
The second half started the same way like the first with Scotland calling the shots and Uruguay defending bravely and appearing dangerous on the fast breaks.
Scotland banked heavily on Nikki Kidd and Nikki Lloyd, but both were unable to find the back of the net.
Just when Scotland looked to have worn down the opposition defense, Uruguay struck the crucial second goal off a penalty corner. Ana Lucia de Maria slammed the ball home following a goal-mouth melee.
The Scots brought themselves back into the contest when they reduced the deficit when Uruguayan shot stopper Rossana Passelle turned a drill-in from Linda Clement into her own goal. The world number 19 team mounted serious raids in the dying moments but Uruguay defended well to close out the match with a 2-1 victory.
In another match, world number ten United States climbed to the top of the points table with a 2-1 win over Chile.
The win leaves USA with a one point advantage over Chile and a two point gap over Scotland.
In a keenly contested match, the United States applied pressure from the word go but were unable to convert their dominance into goals.
Both sides were locked goalless at the break.
The United States finally went ahead in the second half (39th minute) through Emily Wold.
Melissa Gonzalez put the contest beyond Chile with a second strike in the 66th minute.
Chile won two short corners in the final moments and converted one with Camilla Caram scoring from the second PC with a booming low shot. But the goal panned out to be too little too late as the Americans won 2-1.
In the third game of the day, Trinidad & Tobago registered their first win, beating hosts Brazil 3-1.
Avion Ashton gave Trinidad the lead before Blair Wynne doubled it converting a penalty corner.
However, Brazil reduced the margin in the second half. Krizia Layne made it 3-1 for Trinidad with a clinical finish.