Team USA is through to its second consecutive Men’s World Junior Team Championship semifinal after a 2-1 upset over two seeds Canada Friday at the India Squash Center in Chennai.
The U.S. boys entered the quarterfinal as eight seeds, having defeated ten seeds New Zealand on Thursday to set up a quarterfinal match up against the second-seeded Canadians.
The No. 2 ‘s led off the fixture with Team USA’s Tiber Worth pitted against Canada’s James Flynn. Worth earned a 2-0 lead, but Flynn fought back to take the match in five 8-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-6, giving Canada a 1-0 lead.
The No. 1’s followed on court with U.S. junior champion Daelum Mawji aiming to keep U.S. semifinal hopes alive against Julien Gosset. Gosset took a two game lead 11-8, but Mawji stayed in the match by taking the third 11-6. The unfortunate turning point of the match came in the fourth game when Gosset held four match balls up 10-6. While lunging forward for a ball, Gosset sustained a severe hamstring injury. After an injury break, Gosset attempted to continue, losing the next five points until retiring down 11-10.
With the match level 1-1, Thomas Rosini provided the winning touch for Team USA, defeating George Crowne 11-9, 1-11, 11-5, 12-10 in fifty-one minutes.
“Our hearts go out to Julien, he’d played an amazing match before that injury,” said Simba Muhwati, U.S. Junior Men’s Assistant Coach. “There were a lot of emotions involved from Tiber being two-nil up and losing, to Daelum being match ball down and winning, and then Thomas playing so well to put us into the semis. It’s a weird place to be, we want to be happy to be in the semis to match our best ever finish, but we feel so much for Julien and Canada.”
Gosset was later transported to the hospital for treatment and will miss the rest of the tournament, but remains in India to support his teammates.
“I’m proud of how our team has performed this week,” said Jonathan Hill, Canada Head Coach. “Obviously today wasn’t the best, but the U.S. played some great squash and we’ll look forward to the 5/8 playoffs and rebuilding our team.”
Team USA’s semifinal opponent is third-seeded England, who held off eleven seeds Pakistan 2-1 to reach the semis. Saturday’s semifinal will see Team USA make its debut on the all-glass show court set up in the nearby Express Avenue Mall. Live stream the match on wsfworldjuniors.com/watch Saturday at 6pm local time, 8am EDT.
For more tournament coverage visit wsfworldjuniors.com.