Friday, May 25, 2018

Eight Olympians in Argies Tests...

KUALA LUMPUR: Argentina have named only eight Olympians for the six friendly matches against Malaysia in Buenos Aires.

Stephen Van Huizen’s side are using the stint to prepare for the Jakarta Asian Games in August, where his team hope to win the gold medal and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Malaysia and Argentina will play the first friendly on Friday.
"I saw several Argentina players, who played at the 2016 Rio Olympics, during breakfast at our hotel, including goalkeeper (Juan) Vivaldi. However I am not sure how may Olympians will be fielded against us tomorrow," said Van Huizen.
Argentina, the reigning Olympic champions, have also included 10 players with not more than 65 caps for the matches as stated on the International Hockey Federation (FIH) website.
The Olympians in the squad are Vivaldi, Juan Gilardi (152 caps), Perdro Ibarra (152), Matias Paredes (319), Juan Lopez (250), Lucas Rossi (199), Joaquin Menini (87) and Isidoro Ibarra (28).
Penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat, who played for Terengganu Hockey Team in the recent Malaysia Hockey League, is not in the Argentina squad.
In the recent Azlan Shah Cup, Malaysia upset Argentina 2-1 in the pool round but lost 3-2 to the South Americans in the third-four classification match.
The first official match between both teams ended in a 1-1 draw at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
"My players are slowly getting over the jet-lag and should be ready for their first match. We came here with a mission to improve our game.
"We need these matches to prepare for the Asian Games," said Van Huzien.
For the record, Malaysia last qualified for the Olympics in 2000.