Monday, June 8, 2015

Top eight confirmed in Buenos Aires

Spain, Korea and Japan join the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Argentina and Canada in the quarter-finals at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires.

Argentina are back on top of pool B. The Leones defeated the Olympic champions Germany in an entertaining match with 4-3 thanks to a late goal from FIH rising star Gonzalo Peillat. Spain beat Austria 4-1 to secure a top four position in the pool. Earlier, Nick Haig’s last-minute goal had secured his Blacksticks a 1-1 draw against the pool A leaders from the Netherlands with Egypt missing out on the knock-stage after a 7-3 loss to Korea.

Match 13: Egypt v Korea 2-7 (2-2)

Egypt, who lost their first three matches in Buenos Aires, were fighting hard to avoid another defeat but their effort has not paid off. The Egyptians kept the match open for quite some time, but Korea eventually sealed the 7-2 victory in the last quarter.

Captain Amr Elhady opened the scoring on 8 minutes but the advantage was short-lived. Korea recovered quickly and equalised in the same minute through a penalty corner goal from Nam Hyunwoo before turning the score around with a beautiful field goal from Jang Jonghyun (13’). Egypt struck back through Mohamed Essam (26’) before halftime to level the contest at 2-2 at the break.

Hamad Atef (34’) put Egypt ahead 3-2 but Korea responded 10 minutes later when Nam (44’) scored from a penalty stroke. However, the Koreans saved their best performance for the last quarter, adding more goals through Lee Namyong (46’), Lee Jung Jun (50’), Kang Moonkyu (57’) and You Hyosik (58’) - the 7-3 win demonstrating their superiority.

Match 14: New Zealand v Netherlands 1-1 (0-1)

Nick Haig’s last-minute strike secured New Zealand a thrilling 1-1 against the Netherlands. As the match finished tied, both teams remain unbeaten at the Argentina Hockey Champions Trophy in Buenos Aires with the Dutchmen leading the pool because of the better goal difference.

The first half of action in Buenos Aires didn’t see many scoring opportunities for either side. However, the current Olympic and World Cup Silver medallists were first on the scoreboard when Jeroen Hertberger (21’) netted following a beautiful pass from Robbert Kemperman.

New Zealand worked hard to come back and the effort paid off when they won their first penalty corner with two minutes remaining. Nick Haig (60’) took responsibility and scored. The Black Sticks were close to adding another goal but a second penalty corner taken by Nick Hayward went wide. 

Match 15: Austria v Spain 1-4 (1-3)

Spain have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Argentina Hockey World League in Buenos Aires after beating Austria 4-1 in a key encounter. The world’s number 22 finished bottom of pool B having lost all four matches. Austria will now play off in Thursday’s 9th/10th classification match against Egypt.

The match started with high intensity and both teams enjoying possession. Spain won an early penalty corner which was superbly converted by Pau Quemada (6’) after the ball was deflected from the post. Andres Mir (17’) doubled the lead at the beginning of the second quarter before the Austrians pulled one back through a penalty corner goal from Dominic Uher (26’).

Xavi Lleonart (29’) added another penalty corner goal just before halftime to secure a convincing 3-1 lead at the break. In the third quarter Quemada (43’) increased the Red Stick's lead to 4-1. Austria fought hard in the last quarter but could not bridge the gap.

Match 16: Argentina v Germany 4-3 (2-2)

Argentina maintained their unbeaten streak on home soil at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. The Leones defeated the Olympic champions Germany in an entertaining match with 4-3 thanks to a late goal from FIH rising star Gonzalo Peillat. Argentina are now back on top of pool B.

The Leones were on fire in the first quarter scoring on 8 and 13 minutes. Pedro Ibarra put Argentina ahead with a penalty corner goal before Juan Gilardi doubled the lead with a penalty stroke goal. The Olympic champions leveled the score to 2-2 before halftime thanks to goals from Florian Fuchs (21’) and Christopher Zeller (24’). Zeller received a superb flick from Martin Häner and started a solo run to score a beautiful equaliser.

Play got hectic towards the end with both sides looking for the winner in the sold-out CeNARD stadium. Peillat put his Leones ahead 3-2 when he converted a penalty corner on 53 minutes. However, it took Germany just one minute to strike back through a penalty corner goal from Tobias Hauke (54’). The game-winning goal arrived with two minutes remaining. Argentina won another penalty corner which was fired home by Peillat to secure the 4-3 win.

#HWL2015 #RoadToRio