|December 1st, 2012|
|20||Semi-Final||5:00pm||IRL - ARG||1 - 2 (0 - 0)||Final||x 4|
Argentina defeat Ireland to reach CC1 Final
Argentina’s dream of returning to the top table of international hockey is alive and kicking thanks to a 2-1 win over Ireland in the Semi Finals of the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1. Goals from Pedro Ibarra and Guillermo Schickendantz proved to be enough to set up a Final meeting with Korea, who were winners against Malaysia earlier in the day. The winner of the tournament will earn a place at next year’s FIH Champions Trophy.
A good sized crowd turned up to watch the home favourites in action, but they were denied the chance to see a goal thanks to a fine rear-guard action from Ireland. Argentina were firmly in charge throughout the first half, but were thwarted time and time again by Ireland keeper David Harte, who produced a string of outstanding saves to deny both Rodrigo and Lucas Vila as well as a penalty corner flick from Gonzalo Peillat. Ireland captain Ronan Gormley also found himself in the thick of the action, giving away a penalty corner before redeeming himself by blocking the resulting flick on the goal-line. Ireland were not without their chances, however, with Peter Caruth having two opportunities in the circle with Michael Watt flashing a reverse stick shot across the face of the Argentinean goal.
The home crowd did not have to wait long for a goal to cheer in the second half. A 38th minute penalty corner was brilliantly converted by Pedro Ibarra, who deceived the outstanding Harte with a perfectly placed effort into the bottom corner. The Europeans worked hard to keep themselves in the fight, but Argentina grabbed themselves a second goal in the 50th minute from Guillermo Schickendantz, who grabbed his fourth open play strike of the tournament from close range.
Ireland played their best hockey of the match in the final 20 minutes, but Argentina’s backline held firm until the 66th minute when John Jermyn roofed a penalty corner to give the Green Machine a glimmer of hope. However, it was not to be, and Argentina held on to book a place in the tournament final.Quotes:
Andrew Meredith (IRL Coach)
“Today was not our best match. The first half we defended well and could hold Argentina’s pressure, but in the second half we only played well for 24 minutes … we were dominant but not dominant enough. Tomorrow we will play for the bronze medal with Malaysia, and although we know that in the other bench will be Paul Revington, I am thinking only about us and what we can do to win this match. We hope to do things well tomorrow”.
Ronnan Gormley (IRL Captain)
“It was a hard game, and we played well in the first half but not the second, and it was not enough. We were aggressive in the second half, but couldn’t score. We’ve been improving our game, and tomorrow we want to play a good match and get the medal”.
Franco Nicola (ARG Coach)
“Today was an important match to win, but the most important one will be tomorrow’s match. Who are the favourites for the final? Argentina, of course.”
“I know that Korea is 7th in the world rankings but we are the favourites, because we are mentally and physically ready for tomorrow. We know how to play against Korea”.
Matias Vila (ARG Captain)
“We are happy to be in the final. But we must correct some things for tomorrow; we didn’t defend close to our goal keeper. Tomorrow we will correct things.”