Argentina secured their fifth title at an FIH Champions Trophy with a 1-0 victory over Great Britain. It was the first time the Lionesses won the FIH flagship tournament on home soil. The Netherlands claimed the Bronze medal at the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy. The Olympic Champions defeated Germany 5-4 in a very exciting match. Japan qualified for 2014’s Champions Trophy as they have beaten New Zealand 4-3 in extra-time. In the 7/8 classification match Korea defeated China 3-2 on penalties.
Full reports on all the matches can be found below, with extensive tournament information available by clicking here.
Argentina win first Champions Trophy on home soil
Final – ARG 1-0 GBR
Pushed forward by their spectacular home crowd Argentina started with great pace into this final. As Great Britain was defending very well the spectators did not witness much action in the British circle apart from three penalty corners. Either they were saved by goalkeeper Beth Storry or run down by defender Crista Cullen.
However, Argentina wanted to take the lead on home soil and won their penalty corners four and five towards the end of the first half. Their fifth attempt succeeded when Argentina provided a variation involving Noel Barrionuevo and Silvina D’Elia (29’) who opened the scoring. Great Britain, playing off in a Champions Trophy final for the first time, had one penalty corner which went wide.
Argentina have won three of four Champions Trophy finals in which they scored the opening goal. They only failed to win the 2011 final losing in a penalty shoot-out after leading Netherlands 3-0.
To sum up the first half it has been a very competitive encounter with both defences remaining solid and breaking up opposition attacking moves. Argentina have had more promising attacks than Great Britain. It was a physical contest where four green cards were awarded, three to Argentina and one to Great Britain.
The spectators in the crowded World Cup stadium in Rosario had to wait patiently until they saw more action in the circle. It took up to the middle of the second half until Argentina won two more penalty corners. Both were saved by Beth Storry in the British goal. Breaking through the Argentine defence was a real challenge for Great Britain who did not penetrate the circle until the 62nd minute. Argentina continued to attack and did not sit back defending their lead and this made it more difficult for Great Britain as especially the crowd were very vocal in their support of every Argentine attack.
For more information on ARG v GBR click here.
Netherlands win Bronze in Rosario
Bronze medal match - NED 5-4 GER
The Bronze medal match between the Netherlands and Germany was a very entertaining encounter. The Olympic Champions had a powerful beginning and won their first penalty corner in the 4th minute. Céline Wilde was sent back to the mid-line after breaking early. Despite having only three defenders left, the German goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds was able to save Maartje Paumen’s shot.
Soon after, Reynolds saved brilliantly against Naomi van As. However she was defeated by a terrific shot from Maartje Goderie (11’). Goderie won possession at the circle-line and smashed the ball into the top left corner. Germany could have equalized afterwards but their penalty corner failed and provided a counter-attack opportunity which led to the 2-0 score-line for the Netherlands. As the Germans were unable to control the injector’s ball, Kelly Jonker picked it up in midfield and attacked. As soon as she has penetrated the circle she passed to Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (14’) who tipped it in.
The Dutch kept on dominating and extended their lead to 3-0 when Lidewij Welten (17’) had a one-on-one with Reynolds. The goalkeeper was able to save her first attempt but was defeated by the rebound. The Dutch stayed on fire scoring the 4-0 after Kitty van Male (19’) was marked poorly in the circle making her able to pick up a great pass coming from van As.
After Kim Lammers failed to add to the Dutch score from a penalty corner the Germans had two promising attacks and succeeded. Maike Stöckel (26’) deflected Fanny Rinne’s penalty corner shot into the goal and all-time record player Natascha Keller scored a stunning goal one minute later.
The German double-strike was a wake-up call for the Dutch who replied immediately with Marylin Agliotti (30’) netting the 5-2. This was the second Champions Trophy match ever with seven goals scored in the first half. The first time this has happened was in the 2009 Bronze medal match as well between Netherlands and Germany.
The second half was not that spectacular until Germany provided another double-strike. Keller (54’) scored another phenomenal goal when she penetrated the circle from the right, waited for the Dutch goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek to react and smashed the ball in. One minute afterwards Stöckel (55’) deflected another penalty corner shot from Rinne into the goal showing the same variation as in the first half.
Germany took control of the match from this point on. They went for the equaliser and substituted their goalkeeper for an 11th field player with three minutes to go. However their tactical change did not reap reward and Germany lost their sixth successive Champions Trophy match against the Netherlands.
For more information on NED v GER click here.
Japan qualify for Champions Trophy 2014
5/6 classification – NZL 3-4 (AET) JPN
This was the first ever Champions Trophy match featuring New Zealand and Japan. Their last encounter at a world level event came at the 2010 World Cup in Rosario and saw New Zealand come back from 0-2 down to draw 2-2.
Japan had a great start into this match taking the lead in third minute. Akane Shibata was marked poorly by the New Zealand defenders. She won possession in front of goalkeeper Sally Rutherford and left her no chance. The Black Sticks had some circle penetrations afterwards but could not take advantage. Instead Japan could have doubled the lead but failed to score from two penalty corners. However the Winner of the 2011 Champions Challenge scored again when Izuki Tanaki (15’) picked up a ball in the circle netting the first time in her Champions Trophy career.
Japan have held a 2-0 lead only once before in Champions Trophy competition. In the 2007 5/6 classification they have beaten Spain 2-0. New Zealand have won one of three matches at Rosario 2012 after trailing at half-time.
The Blacks Sticks were the stronger side in the second half pressuring Japan until Katie Glynn (41’) has put New Zealand on the scoreboard. They won three successive penalty corners but flicker Clarissa Eshuis was denied at all of them. New Zealand kept going while Japan defended strongly. It seemed as it was only a matter of time until the Black Sticks would equalize. Stacey Michelsen (53’) made the score tied 2-2 when she deflected Kayla Sharland’s penalty corner shot into the net.
Kaori Fujio’s (59’) gave the lead back to Japan against the run of play as New Zealand were dominating the match. However in the 69th minute Katie Glynn secured the extra-time for her team when her penalty corner shot was deflected high into the net. In the 78th minute Rika Komazawa scored the game winning goal securing Japan a spot in 2014’s Champions Trophy.
For more information on NZL v JPN click here.
Korea defeat China on penalty strokes to finish 7th
7/8 classification – CHN 3 – 3 (2 - 3 PS) KOR
China started off with great pace as they really wanted to finish 7th place. It took them six minutes until they have won their first penalty corner which resulted in the 1-0 lead thanks to Ma Yibo’s (7’) drag-flick. Korean defender Han Hye Lyoung was sent back to the mid-line after breaking early which gave China more space. Five minutes later it was Ma (12’) again doubling the lead. Korean goalkeeper Jang Soo Ji still had a touch at Ma’s flick but deflected the ball unluckily into the net. The confident Chinese continued to attack with pace and created a three on one which led to a goal by Zhao Yudiao (15’). She had waited at the far post, picked up a pass and scored with a reverse stick shot.
After Korea had replied thanks to Kim Jong-Eun (19’) they substituted their goalkeepers. Number one keeper Moon Young-Hui came for Jang but wasn’t called into action in the remainder of the first half. Instead it was Korea who scored again after Hong Yoo-Jin (31’) converted a penalty corer variation. The match went into halftime with a score of 3-2 in favor of China.
The ball was very slow at the beginning of the second half as heavy rainfall has occurred and slowed down the game. Despite of the wet weather conditions Korea pressured China and created some promising opportunities. One of them led to their fourth penalty corner in this match which was converted by Kim Jong-Hee (51’). China took their team referral on this decision to check whether the ball was played dangerously in the circle. However, the equaliser was confirmed by the video umpire meaning that China had given away a convincing 3-0 lead.
After the score was tied 3-3 Korea wanted more and put China under pressure. Kim Jong-Hee won them another penalty corner after she was tackled by Ma Wei. The Chinese defender was sent off with a yellow card afterwards. From this point on the match could have gone either way with both teams missing to convert great opportunities.
This was the 4th match at Rosario 2012 to go into extra-time and the second match for Korea who have lost to Japan 3-4 in the Qualification Match 5/8. As nobody scored in extra-time the encounter was decided in a penalty shoot-out. Korea were the lucky winners thanks to goals from Han Hye-Lyoung, Lee Seon-Ok and Kim Jong-Eun.
For more information on CHN v KOR click here.
Best player: Luciana Aymar (ARG)
Top Scorers: Crista Cullen (GBR), Rika Komazawa (JPN), Lee Seon-Ok (KOR) - 5 Goals
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Belen Succi (ARG)
Fair play: Germany
Flash quotes on Day 7
Danny Kerry (GBR Coach)
“Today we had three or four players who were really tired. They felt the tiredness of yesterday’s match. It was a hard game. The crowd today was not a pressure for us. Argentina is the country I most enjoy playing in because of its people. London does not put us under pressure as this team always plays better at home than in any other place.”
Kate Walsh (GBR Team Captain)
“I’m proud of my team, although we didn’t play very well today. We came here and decided to play one match at the time. And we wanted to win the tournament. We are not satisfied with the Silver Medal. Gold is better. The crowd here was great. I love the Argentinean way to cheer for their team. I want to have this crowd in London for the Olympic Games”.
Carlos Retegui (ARG Coach)
“I want to congratulate Great Britain, as they are a solid and have grown a lot. They are one of the candidates to win the Gold medal in London. About today’s match …It is a painting in the backyard of Luciana’s house. It was a great match for us. I want to thank all the players. We haven’t started this tournament playing very well but my team staff worked very hard preparing each match to reach this moment. I’m really happy. Now we have a lot to do n our way to London. But we will go slowly, because this is a young team.”
Luciana Aymar (ARG Team – Captain)
"I would like to congratulate Great Britain’s Captain, the team and the coach as they have grown a lot and became a very strong team. Today we’ve played our best match in this tournament. We could control the ball; we never in a hurry and finally could win. The coach always says: ‘We have to play the matches first, and then we could win them.’ And today we did that. We’ve played one of our best games and won. To win again in Rosario - my city- is a dream. I’m really happy.”
Michael Behrmann (GER Coach)
“I’m disappointed with the start of the match. I don’t remember a final score like this against the Netherlands. Now we have to work a lot. First, we should think about what happened today and then about the Olympic Games. It’s a long way to London.
Fanny Rinne (GER Team-Captain)
“After being 0-4 down we started to play. I don’t know what happened in the beginning of the match. Netherlands had a very good start, we didn’t. They were lucky and we were not”.
Maartje Paumen (NED Team-Captain)
“We had a very good first half and could score four times. We didn’t achieve our aims in this tournament. Of course we wanted to win it. Now we have to work on many things especially in the defence.
Max Caldas (NED Coach)
”They played today after a long, frustrating night yesterday and made a great effort. The Netherlands played the best hockey of all the teams in this tournament. I’m happy and proud of these players.”
Mark Hager (NZL Coach)
“I would like to congratulate Japan to their victory. They defended very well and this made it really complicated for us”.
Kayla Sharland (NZL Team- Captain)
“It’s frustrating that we have lost this last match. Although we played and worked hard, we couldn’t win today.”
Yukari Yamamoto (JPN Team Captain)
“From the very beginning we knew that New Zealand was a strong team. However we could deal with that and with all our effort, we could win today. We are happy.”
Zenjiro Yasuda (JPN Coach)
“Well, this was the last game after too many others before. The players are tired, because they’ve played too many matches before this tournament. And the weather conditions didn’t suit any of the teams. However, we could go beyond the adversities and played a good game today”.
Kim Sang-Ryul (CHN Coach)
“It was a fantastic game for the crowd. I think we were unlucky because we couldn’t score more goals to extend our lead when we have had such a great start. Now we have to improve many things.”
Lim Jung-Woo (KOR Coach)
“First I would like to congratulate my team as it’s been more than a month that they are away from home. It was a hard match, we were 0-3 down and fortunately, we could tie it. Then we played the extra time and the shoot-out. It was really exciting. We know that we have to work hard for the Olympic Games.”
Park Seon-Mi (KOR Player)
“We are really happy, because this is the first match we won in this tournament. We knew that we would face the best teams in the world at this Champions Trophy. We learned a lot, so we are satisfied with this.”
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