Host nation Argentina have won the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1 thanks to a stunning 5-0 win against Korea.
It was a truly brilliant performance from the South Americans, who totally dominated the world number 7 to seal a place in the next edition of the FIH Champions Trophy. Agustin Mazzilli, Gonzalo Peillat, Pedro Ibarra, Guillermo Schickendantz and Manuel Brunet were the scorers for Argentina, delighting a huge partisan crowd in Quilmes.
Argentina were hugely impressive in the first half of the final, and snatched an early lead when Agustin Mazzilli pounced on a loose ball in the Korean circle to score and send the home fans into raptures. Gonzalo Peillat added a second goal two minutes from the end of the half with a blistering penalty corner, rattling the backboard with a perfectly executed low effort.
The home side won a succession of penalty corners at the end of the first half, but their failure to convert their chances left Korea very much in the game for the second half. However, Argentina added a third goal at the very start of the second period, with Pedro Ibarra taking on the flicking duties with another brilliant penalty corner effort.
Korea went in search of a much needed goal, but an error in their own circle cost them another penalty corner. Again, there was a different player taking the flick, with Guillermo Schickendantz sending a high shot into the roof of the net for his fifth goal of a remarkable debut tournament.
The fifth and final goal was a beautiful move from Argentina, passing their way through the Korean defence before Manuel Brunet tapped in from close range to seal an epic victory.
The competition final brought to an end a hugely entertaining event, with all of the matches being played in great spirit under glorious sunshine.
Argentina forward Lucas Vila was named as the Player of the Tournament thanks to some outstanding displays for his team, while the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award went to Ireland’s David Harte. Korea’s Jang Jong Hyun finished as the tournament’s top goal scorer thanks to eight penalty corner strikes, while Japan were given the Fair Play award for receiving the lowest number of disciplinary cards.
The bronze medal went the way of Ireland, who defeated Malaysia 4-3 thanks to a golden goal from Peter Caruth. It was a remarkable achievement for a team playing in their first ever Champions Challenge 1, and one that their players will never forget. The full report can be found by clicking here.
Earlier in the day, Japan took fifth place with a 4-2 win over Canada, while South Africa took seventh place by beating Poland 4-1. Reports for both of these matches can be found by clicking here.
1: Argentina (Promoted to the Champions Trophy)
7: South Africa
Player of the Tournament: Lucas Vila (ARG)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: David Harte (IRL)
Top Goal-scorer: Jang Jong Hyun (KOR) – 8 goals.
Fair Play Award: Japan
Shin Seok Kyo (KOR Coach)
"At the start of this tournament there were two favourites: Argentina and Malaysia. But we improved match by match and we got to the final. We are happy to have reached the Gold medal match.”
Seung Lee (KOR Captain)
“We are pleased to end this tournament in the second place”.
Franco Nicola (ARG Coach)
“The most important thing today is that we played and won this match with intelligence. If you analyze Korea’s game, they play almost too fast, going from end to end very quickly. But today we dominated throughout the game. We know that Korea plays in only one way and we found a way to neutralize them.”
Matias Vila (ARG Captain)
“To get this Gold Medal having won all the matches in this tournament make us feel really happy. It has been a tough year for the team, especially with the Olympics. We won all and we played with intelligence.”
Guillermo Schickendantz (ARG Scorer)
“There’s not much to say. Personally I am really happy for having the opportunity to wear this shirt, and to play in this tournament.”
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