It was another day of heavy scoring at the Hockey World League Round 2 event in Rio de Janeiro, with Argentina, South Africa and Chile maintaining their 100 % win records in the competition. Argentina beat Brazil 10-0, South Africa outlasted the USA 6-1 and Chile beat Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 on the second day of competition at the Deodoro Field Hockey Stadium.
Argentina vs Brazil
World number 10 Argentina beat Brazil 10-0 in the early Test match after leading 6-0 at half-time and looked very good in the process.
The World League Round 2 favourites here in Rio are not ranked 10th in the world for nothing and it is the prowess of this Argentine side in all facets of play that marks them as the team to beat.
Guillermo Schickendantz netted hat-trick (one from field play and two after penalty corners) with his goals coming in the 29th, 33rd and 64th minutes.
Gonzalo Peillat’s metronomic success at corner time continued with a strike of his own in the second minute to back Schickendantz’s efforts.
Some of the Argentine plays were quite breathtaking, not only or necessarily in their finish but rather in the conception and execution through a number of sticks, with the full width and length of the park being utilised to the utmost.
The irrepressible Vila trio of Matias, Rodrigo and Lucas can never be ignored and this time it was a hat-trick by the superb Lucas Vila with strikes in the 17th, 35th and 57th minutes that caught the eye. Further field goals went to a brace by Enrique Paredes (43rd and 51st minutes) and one strike from the stick of Nahuel Salis (13th minute).
South Africa vs USA
This was a hard-fought encounter with the Americans giving as good as they got but South Africa prevailed 6-1.
South Africa led 1-0 at half-time and were left to reflect on two efforts that hit the woodwork – both from the stick of Austin Smith - one from a penalty corner, the other via field play.
That is not to say that Rassie Pieterse in the SA goal was a mere onlooker, as USA dynamo and captain Pat Harris led by example and there were moments of magic from the frontrunners.
However, the South Africans under head coach Charlie Pereira and captain Rhett Halkett did not panic – and the goals duly came post the changeover.
After Clint Panther’s early strike in the third minute it took another 36 minutes before SA doubled their score, the last five SA goals coming in 22 minutes of great play.
SA scored the other five goals through Tim Drummond (39th minute), Lloyd Norris-Jones (42nd and 60th minutes) and Smith (54th) and Julian Hykes (56th) while the USA were rewarded for their endeavours when Manuel Martinez pulled one back in the 63rd minute.
Chile vs Trinidad & Tobago
Chile beat T&T 4-0 after leading 2-0 at half-time but it was not without considerable effort.
As early as the third minute Chile’s Jaime Zarhi scored a great rebound goal, batting the ball into the net on the volley after T&T goalkeeper Andrey Rocke had made a great save from the first penalty corner of the match.
Then Rocke made a superb diving save low to his right as Chile continued to apply the pressure and T&T struggled to break out of the stifling confines of their defensive 23-metre area.
A stunning glove save by Rocke from Martin Rodriguez’s backhand blast in the 22nd minute did more than just hint as to the immense pressure being placed on the keeper.
In the 29th minute Chile tried a slip-left at yet another PC and it worked a treat – the slap for the far post finding the angled stick of Fernando Binder who directed the ball into the roof of the net (2-0).
T&T head coach Glen Francis and captain Darren Cowie were vocal in urging their charges on to greater efforts, while the Chile bench was also vociferous in demanding accuracy.
After 2-0 at half-time, the second half was a rousing affair with both circles peppered with activity, but Alexis Berczely made it 3-0 in the 44th minute via a penalty corner and the last goal in the match came from Sven Richter in the 60th.
Friday is a rest day before the action resumes Saturday.
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