Argentina defeated the Netherlands 2-0 on penalties in an action packed Semi Final which contained a tremendous finish at the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy in Rosario. Noel Barrionuevo converted a penalty stroke 86 seconds before the end of regulation time to salvage extra-time for her team.
Earlier in the day, Great Britain celebrated a deserved 2-0 win against Germany, putting them in their first ever Champions Trophy final.
Full reports on all the matches can be found below, with extensive tournament information available by clicking here.
Argentina win stunning Semi Final against Netherlands
2nd Semi Final – NED 2-2 ARG (0-2 PSO)
The encounter between the two hockey giants from the Netherlands and Argentina started off in a great atmosphere. The Olympic Champions and current Champions Trophy title holders from the Netherlands made the better start in the match, penetrating the circle twice before World Champions Argentina came up dangerously in the Dutch circle for the first time. Their first attack led to the 1-0 when Argentina’s superstar Luciana Aymar won possession before sending a brilliant pass to Maria Josefina Sruoga (14’) who deflected into the goal.
The Argentine happiness did not last long as the Netherlands won their first penalty corner a few minutes later when Margot van Geffen was stick-tackled. Maartje Paumen’s drag-flick was saved by the Argentine goalkeeper Belen Succi, but the Netherlands were sure the ball had touched an Argentine defender’s foot and took their team-referral. The video umpire confirmed their assumption and a second penalty corner was awarded. This time, the recently-crowned 2011 FIH Player of the Year made no mistake, with Paumen (19') netting her 7th goal against Argentina in Champions Trophy history.
Afterwards, Las Leonas created some impressive opportunities but failed to take advantage. The Netherlands also had a great chance to take the lead through a penalty corner variation from Paumen and Eva de Goede, but again the opportunity went begging with the scores remaining locked at 1-1 at the break.
Barely two minutes of the second half had been played when Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (37’) put the Netherlands back in front with a goal out of the blue. However, the Dutch supporters in the stadium were soon subdued when team captain Paumen slipped over a stick and fell awkwardly. Much to the relief of the Dutch players and fans, she did not pick up any injury and continued on with the match.
Argentina failed to equalise when Noel Barrionuevo’s attempt from a penalty corner missed its target. From now Argentina tried to pressure the Netherlands who defended strongly and stuck together as a team especially when Paumen was sent off with a green card. Argentina also had to miss their star player Aymar , who received a yellow card after she had played the ball away to stop a Dutch free-hit. In spite of missing Aymar, they won their third penalty corner taken by Barrionuevo. This brought the equaliser but the Dutch used their team referral again. They were convinced that obstruction had occurred in the circle. Again, their assumption was confirmed by the video umpire. The score stayed at 2-1.
Pushed forward by their big home crowd Aymar, who was back on the field, won another penalty corner after a stick-tackle from Willemijn Bos. This time Barrionuevo’s attempt was too high. Argentina substituted their goalkeeper for the last minutes of the game and attacked strongly. 86 seconds before the end of the match they won a penalty stroke after Paumen stopped an attack in the circle. The Olympic Champions took their team referral again but lost it this time as the decision penalty stroke was confirmed. Barrionuevo took responsibility and brought her team into extra-time. Her shot went into the bottom left corner. Neither Netherlands nor Argentina have ever conceded a goal in extra-time in Champions Trophy competition.
In extra-time Argentina were close to scoring from a penalty corner but the Dutch goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek saved the shot and rebound. The talented Dutch goalie produced another terrific save afterwards clearing with her glove and avoiding the Argentine Golden Goal. The Netherlands failed to score the Golden Goal when their penalty corner was taken right on time.
The match went into a penalty shoot-out and Argentina were the convincing winners scoring twice thanks to Rocio Sanchez Moccia and Luciana Aymar. It is the sixth year in succession that Argentina play off in a Champions Trophy final.
For more information on NED v ARG click here.
Great Britain qualify for Sunday’s final
1st Semi Final – GBR 2-0 GER
The 4th Champions Trophy encounter between Great Britain and Germany took place under great heat in Rosario. Because temperatures were higher than 36 degrees Celsius in the team bench area the first half was interrupted for two minutes to give the players an opportunity to refresh. The 36 degree temperature marker is used as it is less than the average body heat and higher temperatures could compromise the body’s ability to cool.
The challenges of the heat certainly affected the pace of the match in the first half. However, Alex Danson (4’) created the first promising opportunity in this match when she entered the circle from the left but was denied thanks to a fantastic save from the perfectly positioned Germany goalkeeper Yvonne Frank. Shortly afterwards, Great Britain’s Georgie Twigg fell heavily over German defender Mandy Haase’s stick and needed some medical treatment, but she was back on the field later on.
Although Great Britain remained the dominant side, key Germany players Haase, team-captain Fanny Rinne, Julia Müller and Nina Hasselmann marshalled the defence to keep their European rivals at bay. After Danson (12’) was tackled by Rinne and Hasselmann, Great Britain won their first penalty corner. Frank was able to save the attempt from Kate Walsh, but was defeated by Sarah Thomas (13’) who converted the rebound. Great Britain had a few more promising attacks in the first half while Germany struggled to penetrate the British circle. The 1-0 half-time lead gave Great Britain confidence as they were unbeaten in nine Champions Trophy matches in which they have scored the opening goal, recording eight wins and one draw.
As soon as the second half had started injector Ashleigh Ball (39’) doubled the lead after she deflected the ball into the goal at Great Britain’s second penalty corner. Afterwards goalkeeper Frank kept Germany in the game making some terrific saves. Great Britain were short in numbers after the umpires had awarded a yellow card to Helen Richardson. This allowed Germany a little more space to attack, however, Great Britain’s defence was very organised and Germany could not take advantage. With six minutes of the match remaining, Germany replaced their goalkeeper with a defender, but even the extra outfield player could not deny Great Brtiain a deserved victory. The British goalkeeper Beth Storry had kept a clean sheet for the second time in this competition.
Before the match, all-time record caps holder Natascha Keller was honored by FIH president Leandro Negre. The 34-year-old is the first woman who has ever played more than 400 international matches (including indoor appearances).
For more information on GBR v GER click here.
Flash quotes on Day 6
Michael Behrmann (GER Coach)
“It was an intensive match, really hard. We couldn’t create many options to score. Great Britain took advantage of our mistakes and could score. Anyway, I’m happy with the team performance.”
Fanny Rinne (GER Team –Captain)
“We’ve made many mistakes. The conditions were hard. We didn’t have many chances.”
Danny Kerry (GBR Coach)
“In the first half we created many options and could score, that made the difference. We knew that in the second half, they will attack and go for us, and we were ready for it. But we could stop them and control the match. I’m in this team since 2004 and I’m proud of these girls. We went through many good and bad things together.”
Kate Walsh (GBR Team-Captain)
“We knew it’ll be a hard match. And I’m proud of our team."
Maartje Paumen (NED Team-Captain)
“It was a really good game. Maybe the best we‘ve played in this tournament. I think we lost the game in the last two minutes.”
Max Caldas (NED Coach)
“I think we played a good game although we wasted many opportunities. If you waste these opportunities you lose the match. And this is what happened to us today. We should have won the game when we lead 2-1.”
Carlos Retegui (ARG Coach)
“I want to thank all players for this match. It was a great one. The players have performed very well.”
Luciana Aymar (ARG Team-Captain)
“Both teams played very well. I think today’s match was won by the intelligence. Both teams had moments where they controlled the match.”
Belen Succi (ARG goalkeeper)
“First of all I would like to congratulate Maartje Paumen on her award yesterday. I’m really happy with today’s match. This match had everything which is needed in a big final.”
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