|August 5th, 2012|
|24||Pool A||9:15pm||ARG - ESP||1 - 3 (0 - 0)||Final|
Argentina v. Spain 1-3 (half-time: 0-0)
Spain was fighting for its life in today’s game against Argentina. A win or a draw would put Spain right back into the hunt for a place in the semi-final, while a loss would leave them out in the cold. In the end, despite a surprisingly lackluster performance, Spain salvaged a 3-1 win to keep its hopes alive.
Spain sprang to life in the last five minutes of the game, netting all three of its goals after 65 minutes of silence. Pau Quemada kicked off the comeback with four minutes left in regulation for Spain when he scored after a chaotic few moments in front of the net and Miguel Delas netted the game winner a minute later to save the day for Spain.
The icing on the cake came with 40 second left one two-on-none breakaway that Xavi Lleonart finished off to top off the win.
You would never know from the action on the field that Spain’s Olympic medal dreams were on the line. The teams both played a conservative game, in stark contrast to the Great Britain v. Australia thriller directly before.
The first half was a particularly tepid affair with scoring chances few and far between and no penalty corners awarded. It wasn’t until Spain’s Juan Fernandez ran the ball in from midfield with four minutes left in the half that either team had a meaningful chance to get on the board. His effort fell short, but it at least helped to break the lethargic funk that seemed to settle over the stadium.
The teams had more spring in their step and with 15 minutes left in the game the scoring silence was finally broken when Argentina’s Lucas Vila marched through the slot and beat Francisco Cortes in the low far corner for the 1-0 lead. The goal woke Spain up as they pressured the Argentina net late in the game, and were eventually rewarded with the barrage of goals for the win
Spain stays in the thick of things in the Group A playoff hunt with seven points and the last preliminary round game against Great Britain, sitting with eight points. Meanwhile Argentina will hope to avoid the 11th-place game in its final preliminary round game against South Africa.
David ALEGRE (ESP)
On whether the loss of Pol AMAT and Santiago FREIXA:
"Such losses make you either strong, or the weakest link, but we decided to go for the strong. All the other players must continue the balance to make up for this loss."
"We're prepared for them. We expect the stadium to be completely full and for it to be a difficult game, but that's sport and that's why we play hockey, we have to go prepared for them."
Pau QUEMADA (ESP)
On their win over Argentina tonight:
"The score shows what we can do but Argentina played really hard tonight, they played their own game and they were tough to get past at first. Coming back from 1-0 down is very difficult but we managed it."
On their chances of qualifying for the semifinals:
"We kept fighting for the game and that is what we will do against GB. Tonight we showed that we have the qualities and the skills to keep going and to fight for the second position in our pool. We are still in this. We are alive."
Lucas VILA (ARG)
On the team's next match:
"Now it has a different taste. After our last game we wanted to finish as best we could. It's difficult for me to think what to do now as we did not achieve our goal, we did not make it. I am really very sad tonight."
Matias VILA (ARG)
On tonight's match and team performance:
"We couldn't match Spain tonight. With 10 minutes to go we thought we would get the win but in hockey you have to play to the last second and we didn't. We maybe defended too much and defended too deep. Tonight I am very sad as I thought we played all our chances but this is the reality."
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:08 pm||Last game of the day is minutes away. Spain gunning to keep its semi final hopes alive with a win against Argentina|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:26 pm||A tepid start for both teams -- of course after the finale of the GB game everything seems a bit more subdued right now|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:36 pm||Argentina's Lopez sent to sit with a green card...let's see if that gets something started|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:45 pm||Scoreboard still showing two goose eggs after 30 minutes of action. No PCs no big chances on either side so far|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:52 pm||At the half, things are scoreless with very little action on either end.|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:13 pm||Second half is underway, teams seem to have a little more spring in their step -- lets hope the goals start flowing|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:25 pm||Goal! With 15 minutes left in the game, Lucas Vila puts Argentina up 1-0 putting Spain's semi hopes in peril|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:34 pm||Five to go and Spain still down 1-0...all the action is in front of the Argentina net, but will the equalizer come?|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:35 pm||And Spain gets it! The 1-1 goal goes in thanks to Pau Quemada!|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:43 pm||Wow! Can't keep up -- Spain rips in two more quick goals in the last two minutes to take the 3-1 lead!!|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:43 pm||Final horn sounds -- incredible! Spain is still in the playoff hunt after an amazing last five minutes!|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:50 pm||Pau Quemada, Miguel Delas and Xavi Lleonart the heroes for the Spanish. Should be a thrilling Group A finish on Tuesday!|