|December 8th, 2009|
|08||Pool B||6:00pm||ARG - PAK||3 - 1 (2 - 0)||Final|
With the sun timidly trying to force its way through the clouds, the local crowd came in drove to support Argentina, and they were immediately rewarded when Facundo CALLIONI, left totally unmarked on the far post, slotted the ball in goal in the first minute of play! Pakistan had a penalty-corner soon after but Sohail ABBAS’s flick was wide.
Play between the two highly skilled teams was flowing back and forth, with opportunities at both ends that kept the fans on the edge of their seats, especially when Juan Tomas ESPINOSA in the Argentinean goal denied Sohail ABBAS on another penalty-corner attempt. Every ball was fiercely contested and tempers started to flare up. Teams traded green cards and Argentina increased their lead on their first penalty-corner by Pedro IBARRA with a strong low shot left of Salman AKBAR in the Pakistani goal.
Pakistan jumped out of the blocks in second period and Rehan BUTT had right away a good chance after penetrating the circle but his shot from close range was inches wide. They maintained their pressure and controlled the ball for a while but too often wasted plays with unforced errors. Argentina were more realistic at the other end and earn a penalty-corner on one of their rare incursions in the Pakistani circle, dutifully scored by Pedro IBARRA, already his fifth of the competition.
Rehan BUTT and Shakeel ABBASI kept trying hard upfront but never managed to effectively threaten ESPINOSA in goal. It took a penalty-corner by Sohail ABBAS in the 66th minute to reduce the gap (his 301st international goal, after scoring the 300th on Sunday against Canada) but Argentina finally earned a deserved victory that puts them alone with two wins at the top of pool B.