|March 7th, 2010|
|23||Pool A||6:30pm||NZL - ARG||0 - 1 (0 - 0)||Final|
New Zealand came into the match with two wins against Canada and Korea and a loss against The Netherlands, while Argentina were still pointless after 3 games, a situation that did not reflect their excellent level of play in this competition, especially in their narrow losses against Korea (1-2) and Germany (3-4). The Kiwis were unfortunately lining up without their injured Captain Phillip BURROWS.
Argentina dominated the early stages of the game. They earned a penalty-corner but Pedro IBARRA’s flick was saved by Kyle PONTIFEX, always a force in goal for New Zealand. Argentina had the control of play, with a clear chance for Matias PAREDES and Lucas Martin VILA alone in front of PONTIFEX but unable to control the bouncing ball. The Kiwis however were weathering the storm efficiently and started to push up field in the last ten minutes of the period; Priyesh BHANA forced a penalty-corner in the 32nd minute that evolved in a penalty-stroke but Juan Tomas ESPINOSA in the Argentinean goal stopped Ryan ARCHIBALD’s attempt and half-time was reached without any goal.
The two teams played attractive hockey in second half, but the defences were not giving up much space. New Zealand had a chance on penalty-corner and Argentina had a golden opportunity on the ensuing counter-attack but the final pass to Mario ALMADA, alone in front of the goal, was imprecise. Kyle PONTIFEX stopped two penalty-corners in a row but could not do much on a deflection from close range by Facundo CALLIONI in the 55th minute to finally break the up the deadlock.
The goal took some wind out of the Kiwis’ sails. They survived another penalty-corner, shot wide by Pedro IBARRA, but seemed to have trouble reacting to the situation. They had a shooting chance for Priyesh BHANA but were running out of option against an Argentinean team packing up the circle and determined to earn the three points of the win.
Match Facts (New Zealand v. Argentina):
> Argentina collected their first WC victory since beating India 3-2 in the Qualification Match 9-12 in 2006.
> Today’s win ended Argentina’s 4-match losing streak in World Cup competition.
> Argentina are now one 3 points, leaving Canada as the only team that is yet to win their first points at Delhi 2010.
> Today’s 1-0 score marks the lowest scoring WC match at Delhi 2010.
> Facundo Callioni (ARG) opened the score as he did in Argentina’s match against Korea which they eventually lost (1-2).
> Ryan Archibald (NZL) joined Jamie Dwyer (AUS) as players to have missed a penalty stroke at Delhi 2010.