December 19, 2014
Field Hockey — World League FinalSunday, January 12, 2014
Argentina is Lion King
Earns second win to lead Pool B
Argentina extended its winning run as it beat Belgium 3-2 in its second match at the World League Final to lead the Pool B. Today will be rest day. Argentina will meet Australia tomorrow with a draw securing it to qualify for quarterfinals atop.
NEW DELHI — Argentina emerged 3-2 winners and kept their unbeaten record in the Hockey World League Final in New Delhi while Belgium suffered their second defeat.
Argentina, who upset the Netherlands in Friday’s opening match, also started off well in yesterday’s encounter. Facundo Callioni won his Lions the first penalty corner of the match but they could not capitalize on it.
So it was up to Belgian Tom Boon (6th minute) to open the scoring when he smashed the ball into the far corner of the goal. The battle between both teams continued with the Pan-American champions fighting for the equalizer which soon came courtesy of Pedro Ibarra (11th). On his run toward goal, Ibarra left five Belgium defenders behind to eventually defeat goalie Vincent Vanash with a skilful backhand stroke.
With less than two minutes remaining in the first half top-striker Boon (34th) made another mark when putting Belgium 2-1 ahead. This was his third goal in the competition making him the new tournament top scorer.
Argentina levelled the score to 2-2 in the middle of the second half when completely unmarked Matías Paredes (50th) latched onto the ball at the far post to deflect a long pass coming from Juan Martín López into the goal. Argentina held on to their attacking style taking the lead for the first time in the match when Callioni (61th) picked up a flick and managed to lift the ball over the Belgian keeper. Coach Lammers summed up: “Argentina deserved the win because they fought more. This was not a good game for us.”
Coach Carlos Retegui knows that his team will need to be on the top of their game to counter the attacking power of the Australian team in their third pool B game tomorrow. “I am a fan of Australia’s hockey and it is always an attacking game when we play them.”
However, Retegui added that he has spent many hours planning his tactics for each team: “Belgian have one of the best coaches in the game, and we had to think very hard and very strategically about how to beat them. They are one of the most upcoming teams in the world.”
In the second Pool B match of the day, the Netherlands bounced back from the previous day’s defeat to take three points in a tense match. A sole goal from Billy Bakker gave the team in orange a 1-0 victory over Australia.
England is top of Pool A after they earned a hard-worked 2-1 victory over Olympic champions Germany while New Zealand bounced back from Friday’s 6-1 loss with a 3-1 win over India, leaving host nation bottom of the group.
Herald staff with FIH