(Photo: © FIH / Stanislas Brochier)

Argentina defeated England in a top of the table clash to confirm their place as the winners of Pool B on Day 9 of the BDO FIH Hockey World Cup in Rosario, Argentina.

A penalty corner from Noel BARRIONUEVO and a late strike from Daniela SRUOGA sealed a 2-0 victory against an England team that made their opponents work hard throughout the game. The win means that Argentina will face the runner up in Pool A in their Semi Final, while England must defeat the winner of that Pool if they are to reach the tournament final. Their opponents will be known when the Pool A matches are completed tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, China crushed Spain 6-0 with penalty corner expert MA Yibo netting four goals, while South Africa fell to a 5-3 defeat against Korea.

More information about today's matches can be found below, while full tournament information is available on the FIH microsite: http://www.bdofihworldcup2010.sportcentric.com/


Five in a row for Las Leonas

Argentina won their fifth match in succession to seal top spot in Pool B, battling past a resilient England team 2-0 in front of another sell-out crowd here in Rosario. Noel BARRIONUEVO opened the scoring in the first half with a trade-mark penalty corner flick before Daniela SRUOGA scored a wonderful reverse stick goal from a tight angle on the left of the circle. The defeat for England means that they will face the winner of Pool A in the Semi Finals, which take place on Thursday.

Both teams were treated to a deafening cheer as they entered the field, with the 12000 strong crowd dominated by fans of the host nation. Despite the support for the host team, England also appeared to be boosted by the atmosphere in the stadium, and frustrated Las Leonas for much of the opening ten minutes with some excellent tackling work in midfield. Eventually, Argentina took the lead when Noel BARRIONUEVO sent a hard flick beyond England goalkeeper Beth STORRY, sparking an explosion of noise within the stadium. It was BARRIONUEVO's fifth goal of the tournament. Although England were holding their own against the world number two ranked side, Argentina were creating the clearer goal-scoring chances and a superb save from Beth STORRY stopped Las Leonas from going into half time with a two goal advantage.

The only goal of the second half came in the 67th minute, when Daniela SRUOGA burst into the circle on the left before smashing a stunning reverse stick shot just inside the right post of Beth STORRY's goal. It was a strike worthy of winning any game, but Danny KERRY's England team will take great heart from a gutsy performance against a team considered by many to be the tournament favourites.


Match Review 27 - Argentina v England 2-0
> Argentina finish top in Pool B and will most likely take on the winner of the Australia – Germany match.
> England suffer their first defeat at Rosario and finish second in Pool B. They will almost certainly face the Netherlands in the semi-final.
> Argentina have outscored all their other Pool B opponents 14 to 2.
> Noel Barrionuevo netted her 5th PC goal at Rosario 2010 to become Argentina’s sole top goalscorer this tournament. Barrionuevo has now scored in 4 of Argentina’s 5 matches at Rosario 2010.
> Noel Barrionuevo also scored against England at the 2010 Champions Trophy, a match won 2-1 by England.
> Daniela Sruoga (ARG) settled the score at 2-0 adding to the two goals scored earlier this year at the Champions Trophy in Nottingham (vs CHN and NZL).
> Argentina have scored 6 of 30 penalty corners (20%) in their pool matches.
> England did not get any penalty corners in this match. Their PC average remains at 3 for 18 (17%).


Korea fight back to defeat South Africa

Korea produced a superb fight-back from 3-1 down to claim a 5-3 victory over South Africa. The result has sealed Korea's place in the 5th-6th place classification match, while South Africa will now play in the 9th-10th place play-off.

Sulette DAMONS scored her second goal of the tournament in just the second minute of the match, finding the net with a close range tap-in. It took Korea until the 34th minute to find an equaliser, with captain LEE Seon Ok scoring from the penalty spot.

South Africa took the initiative in the 50th minute when Cindy BOTHA slid in to force the ball into the net from the left, giving her side a 2-1 lead. Things went from bad to worse for Korea when CHEON Seul Ki was given a Yellow Card in the 52nd minute for a poor challenge on Pietee COETZEE, and South Africa made their opponents pay when BOTHA netted her second less than sixty seconds later from open play to make the score 3-1.

Despite being down to ten players, Korea pulled a goal back when KIM Bo Mi deflected a penalty corner high into the roof of the net in the 55th minute before CHEON made amends for her Yellow Card by sending a low penalty corner flick beyond South Africa keeper Mariette RIX to tie the scores. Korea moved ahead for the first time in the match when KIM Young Ran smashed a reverse stick shot into the net after South Africa failed to clear their defensive lines, before the 5-3 result was sealed by PARK Mi Hyun's 67th minute field goal.


Match Review 26 - Korea v South Africa 5-3
> Korea came back from two goals down (1-3) to beat South Africa 5-3.
> Korea will now play the play-off for fifth place against Australia or Germany.
> South Africa qualify for the Final 9-10, exceeding their performance at the last two World Cups when they finished 13th (2002) and 12th (2006).
> The last time Korea scored at least 5 goals in a World Cup match was in 2002 when they beat Scotland 6-2.
> Sulette Damons opened the score in the 2nd minute of the game. This was South Africa’s fastest World Cup goal since 2002, when Pietie Coetzee scored in the first minute of the game against Russia (4-1).
> Cindy Botha scored twice in two minutes to become the first RSA player in eight years to score twice in a World Cup match. The last one to do so was Pietie Coetzee in 2002 (vs UKR 3-1).
> Five different players scored for Korea in today’s match.
> Korea converted two of six penalty corners awarded today. Before today’s match they had only converted  only 1 of 14.


Ma hits four as China thrash Spain

China recorded their biggest ever victory in World Cup competition, as MA Yibo scored four stunning penalty corners in a 6-0 thrashing of Spain. The result moves China up to third in the league table, albeit temporarily as the action continues this afternoon. For Spain, the crushing defeat means that they finish bottom of Pool B and will now play in  Thursday's 11th / 12th place classification match.

Despite dominating most of the possession, China could only score one goal in the first half, China could only score once in the first half courtesy of a powerful strike from the top of the circle by LI Hongxia in the 11th minute. The goal was the 100th of the tournament. Spain were certainly not without their chances, but China were on top for most of the period and continued to press hard in the second half. The Olympic Silver Medallists extended their advantage seven minutes after the break when FU Baorong beat Spain keeper Maria LOPEZ DE EGUILAZ following a neat China breakaway before MA Yibo scored her first goal of the tournament with a beautiful penalty corner conversion that flew into the top right corner of the net. MA added a second soon after with another expert penalty corner effort, this time beating Spain's reserve keeper Isabel BARGUNO with a low shot into the bottom left corner. MA completed her hat-trick in the 63rd minute before adding a fourth for good measure just three minutes later.

It was an impressive victory for China, who will be disappointed not to have produced this kind of form earlier in the tournament. China will have to wait until the end of the day to find out which classification matches they will participate in.

Match 25 - Spain v China 0-6
> China recorded their biggest World Cup win beating Spain 6-0. Their previous record WC win was a 4-0 win over South Africa in 2006.
> Today’s 6-margin win equals the biggest win at Rosario 2010; Netherlands 7-1 victory over India.
> China’s Ma Yibo became the first player since Kelli James (USA) in 1998 (4-0 vs China) to score four goals in a World Cup game.
> Spain will play in the 11th place play-off.
> Spain kept one goal clear of their biggest World Cup defeat. In 1978 and 1990 they suffered 7-0 defeats against Germany and Korea respectively.
> Ma Yibo netted her first four goals of the tournament adding to her World Cup goals scored in 2002 (1) and 2006 (3).
> Li Hongxia (CHN) scored against Spain like she did at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when China won 3-0.
> Li’s opening goal in this match marks the 100th goal scored at Rosario 2010.
> Fu Baorong (CHN) has now scored goals against Spain in every major tournament (2001 CT, 2004 & 2008 OG and 2010 WC).