|August 7th, 2012|
|27||Pool A||1:45pm||ARG - RSA||6 - 3 (2 - 2)||Final|
Argentina came back from a 2-goal deficit to severely punish South Africa (6-3) and leave them bottom of the group.
With both teams having three losses and a draw, they were out of contention for the semi-finals and playing to avoid bottom place. The contest was however heated from the start, with a green card to a South African player within a couple minutes of play.
South Africa drew first blood on a spectacular penalty-corner under the crossbar by Justin Reid-Ross, certainly one of the best corner flickers in this competition. They doubled their tally a few seconds later by Lloyd Norris-Jones from the field and Argentina were already looking at a steep uphill battle.
Facundo Callioni had a golden opportunity after a splendid pass from Agustin Mazzilli found him alone in the circle, but Erasmus Pieterse stood tall in the South African goal and thwarted his effort. Soon after Lucas Rossi was unlucky to hit the post after a decisive circle penetration, then Callioni failed again to beat Pieterse from close range before Gonzalo Peillat reduced the score on a penalty-corner in the 24th minute.
Both teams had other chances on penalty-corners before Lucas Rossi managed to catapult the ball in the roof of the net from a goal mouth scramble, levelling the score for Argentina. The score was tied at half-time (2-2), but Argentina had a better momentum after coming back in the match after their catastrophic start and Gonzalo Peillat added another penalty-corner, his second of the day, early in second period to give the lead to the South Americans in this lively contest.
Facundo Callioni deflected in goal a superb cross from Lucas Vila who had outrun the South African defense, then did it again soon after on a similar cross, this time from Agustin Mazzilli, and Argentina were suddenly in a very comfortable position with a 3-goal lead. The crowd were entertained by a flurry of goal in the final minutes. First Jonathan Robinson pulled back a goal for South Africa, then Gonzalo Peillat promptly re-established the 3-goal lead with his third penalty-corner goal of the match, a strong feat for the 19 year old playing in his first major competition.
With the win, Argentina finished 5th in pool A and will for 9th-10th on Thursday, while South Africa will play for 11th-12th on Saturday.
Fecundo CALLIONI (ARG)
On the result: "It was very good for us. We were pressing always near the ball, we had a lot of chances to score, we got six goals which was incredible for us because we had only done four in other tournaments. We defended well, always near the ball and we had to win to play for the ninth place which was very important for us to confirm our ranking."
On coming back from being two goals behind after just 10 minutes: "Only in hockey you know that at 2-0 we were playing better than them and that we could secure the match and scored a lot of goals."
On his two goals in the match: "For me, in the first half, I had some chances but did not score. In the second half, I could deflect the ball in, it was very good for me."
On their forthcoming 9th/10th place play off: "We are going to play against New Zealand or Belgium. It will be a very difficult match but we are ninth in the FIH ranking and we want to confirm that."
Gonzalo PEILLAT (ARG)
On the significance of winning the match against South Africa: "We knew that we needed to get the three points in order that we could then contest for a ninth-place finish after losing the possibility of our original sixth-place target. The classification match is going to be a similar match to this match against South Africa. We have to go out and win."
On the win against South Africa: "We started the match very lazily, South Africa could take advantage of a penalty corner and scored two goals in close succession, one after the other. We knew we had to fight back. We were effective in the area which we weren't in the other games. We had penalty corners and we could take advantage in this way."
On what worked against South Africa compared to previous matches: "We had much more control of the ball in this match and we could enter the area (circle) many more times. This match we fought in the circle and went to look for more penalty corners, and that helped us to score six goals today."
On scoring a hat-trick in the match: "To score three goals at an Olympics is quite something, for that reason I'm delighted."
Augustin MAZZILLI (ARG)
On the win against South Africa: "We didn't start off in the pool (A) very well. At least we are now fighting for ninth and 10th place. It was a great match, a very exciting last pool match for us."
On the reason for victory: "We played better today because we were more effective, we had more penalty corners and much more attacking play. We wanted to win more penalty corners and put away goals that we were unable to do in the previous matches. We achieved our objectives today. We played with much more thought."
On preparation for their next match: "We are going to approach our classification match with the same attitude that we had today. We are going to try and get more penalty corners."
Jonathan ROBINSON (RSA)
On losing their final pool match: "I am really disappointed. We gave everything today. In the last 10, 15 minutes we really gave it our all. I am so frustrated that we let ourselves down in the end."
On the teams performance during the tournament:
"As a team we seem to work well with our backs to the wall, but perhaps there was too much of that this tournament. We tried our best and we never gave up. We've worked so hard over the last 18 months to get here. I don't think the final results are a fair reflection on our effort, but in sport it is about more than that, it is about your performance on the day and ours was not good enough. But we can't be faulted for our effort. We just needed to get those small moments right. That's how we will become a better team and move up the rankings."
On playing their classification match: "I don't want to worry about our rankings, but we must as the results just didn't go well for us this tournament. Our next match will be just as important to us as today's match was, even if we are only playing for 11th place. We want to go out on a high. For us, it's our gold match."
On South Africa's final goal (scored by ROBINSON) being disallowed after Argentina's referral was upheld: "I thought it was a legitimate goal, but it must have hit MADSEN (Lloyd) on the arm. I didn't see it but the officials must have seen something we missed. It's a shame."
Austin SMITH (RSA)
On today's match result: "This is very, very disappointing especially because we were 2-0 up. The last 10 minutes we played well, but then the game was over. Maybe we were too casual, I'm not sure. Results haven't gone our way."
Lloyd NORRIS-JONES (RSA)
On the result: "We went 2-0 up and put a lot of energy and effort in the first half of the first half and ended up with us being two goals to the better. They got two pretty scratchy goals and we allowed them back into the half. Things were not going our way today. You can't fault the effort of our side, it's just disappointing to end up like this, playing for 11th or 12th, we don't deserve it. If a couple of other results had gone our way we could be playing for fifth or fourth, but we just let in too many goals."
On defending an early lead (they were 2-0 up after eight minutes): "We know that at the beginning of games we do create chances through our forward mobility and creating lines."
On his goal (he scored 60 seconds after Justin REID-ROSS's opener): "In those situations you expect the right back to be passing the ball, but he held onto it and we managed to pick his pocket. (Austin) SMITH drew a good line to put me into space and and I just had time to finish it off."
On whether the South African women's win yesterday (they registered their first win of London 2012 with a 7-0 win over USA) provided some inspiration coming into today's match: "We're very proud of our ladies team. We know it's a process and what we needed, or wanted to do to go forward, putting into practise, and unfortunately it didn't go our way."
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:37 am||Pool A match between Argentina and South Africa just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:37 am||Umpires for ARG vs. RSA are Raghu PRASAD (IND) and Nathan STAGNO (GBR)|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:37 am||Argentina have so far lost to Great Britain (1-4), Pakistan (0-2) and Spain (1-3), and tied with Australia (2-2)|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:38 am||South Africa have so far lost to Australia (0-6), Spain (2-3) and Pakistan (4-5), and tied with Great Britain (2-2)|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:39 am||Both teams are out of contention for the semi-finals and will play to avoid bottom place in the pool|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:40 am||South African Captain Austin Smith is honored before the match for playing in his 100th International game. Congratulations!|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:49 am||Green card for Rhett Halkett (RSA)|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:55 am||Justin Reid-Ross opens the scoring for South Africa on penalty-corner. ARG-RSA: 0-1|
|August 07th, 2012 at 7:56 am||Second goal for South Africa by Lloyd Norris-Jones less than a minute after the first one! ARG-RSA: 0-2|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:14 am||Gonzalo Peillat reduces the score on a penalty-corner. ARG-RSA: 1-2|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:22 am||Lucas Rossi levels the score with a ball in the roof of the net! ARG-RSA: 2-2|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:25 am||Half-time between Argentina and South Africa (2-2). ARG leveled the score in the nick of time after a catastrophic start|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:34 am||Second period under way between Argentina and South Africa, currently tied at 2-2|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:42 am||2nd goal of the day for Gonzalo Peillat who pushes Argentina ahead. ARG-RSA: 3-2|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:43 am||Green card for Austin Smith (RSA)|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:49 am||Green card for Agustin Mazzilli (ARG)|
|August 07th, 2012 at 8:54 am||Facundo Callioni scores again for Argentina on a similar move, this time on a cross by Agustin Mazzilli. ARG-RSA: 5-2|
|August 07th, 2012 at 9:09 am||Jonathan Robinson pulls back a goal for South Africa. ARG-RSA: 5-3|
|August 07th, 2012 at 9:10 am||Gonzalo Peillat promptly re-established the 3-goal lead with his 3rd penalty-corner of the match! ARG-RSA: 6-3|
|August 07th, 2012 at 9:17 am||Match over between Argentina and South Africa, with a strong win for ARG 6-3 after falling behind 0-2|