The entire week, Argentina and South Africa have been the teams to beat at the Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in Brazil, so it is only fitting that on the final day of competition, both teams punched their ticket to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals after finishing atop of the standings.
South Africa – Chile 6-1 (halftime 3-0)
South Africa rebounded from a 4-2 loss against Argentina on Sunday in grand fashion, posting a lopsided 6-1 victory against Chile. The win was enough to lift the South Africans into second place in the final standings and gave Chile a respectable third-place finish.
Miguel De Graca gave South Africa the quick 1-0 lead when he struck on a short corner in the fifth minute of action. After the first South African goal Chile came back strongly and forced a couple of penalty corners. Despite the rest of his teammates showing signs of nerves, South African goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse was a tower of strength keeping the lively Chileans at bay. Matt Guise-Brown’s penalty corner strike in the 31st minute visibly calmed the South Africans’ nerves.
Three minutes later, that lead increased and gave South Africa some breathing room at the break when Jonathan Robinson scored from the field. From there on, they never looked back.
The teams exchanged goals five minutes apart to open the second half scoring, but Chile could not close the first-half gap in any significant way. In the end, Lloyd Norris Jones ended any thoughts of a Chilean upset with his two field goals late in the half that sealed the 6-1 win.
Argentina – USA 9-0 (7-0 halftime)
Argentina put the finishing touches on a perfect Hockey World League Round 2 performance with a 9-0 drubbing over the United States. Argentina had already secured its spot in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals on Sunday, but the victory was a icing on the cake for the dominant South American nation.
Having got off to a fortunate start when an American defender put through his own goal in the third minute, Argentina added six more field goals from Matias Parades in the 6th minute, Matias Vila in the 10th minute, the imperious Rodrigo Vila in the 16th minute before a brace from Augustin Mazzili in the 18th and 23rd minutes and finally the always dangerous Guillermo Schickendatz concluded the first half’s scores in the 26th minute.
The Americans seemed to find their legs in the second half and put in a better effort, but they still had no luck finding the back of the net as Argentina was able to add another pair of goals later in the second half action to bring the final score to 9-0
Argentina joins South Africa, India and Ireland as the teams that have moved on to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals through Round 2. There are still three spots up for grabs for the June Semi-Finals which will be determined in the Round 2 tournaments in Russia and France later this Spring.
Trinidad & Tobago 6, Brazil 2 (halftime 2-1)
Brazil and Trinidad brought down the curtain of the Hockey World League’s Men’s Round 2 tournament in Rio de Janeiro with an entertaining and energetic match.
After a tentative start with both teams posing questions for the opposing defences, Trinidad and Tobago took the lead in the 10th minute. Following a melee in the Brazilian circle with Trinidad’s Atiba Whittington being the quickest to pounce on a loose ball and to squeeze It over the goal line. Brazil, without their talismanic captain, Ernst Rost Onnes, responded positively and following some good work down the right wing by Matheus Borges Ferreira, reminiscent of Brazilian soccer right wing icons Garrincha and Jairzinho. Andre Patrocinio tucked the ball away to level the score.
Trinidad regained the lead following a well worked penalty corner routine in the 25th minute with Marcus James getting his name on the score sheet. Brazil had further opportunities to even the game but failed to make anything out of two successive penalty corners as the halftime hooter sounded.
After the break, Trinidad and Tobago came out much the sharper of the two teams and three goals in the 40th, 41st and 52nd minutes by Dwain Quan Chan, Marcus James and Stefan Mouttet put the game beyond the Brazilians reach However, this Brazilian team never gives up and Eduard de Oliveira got his name on the score sheet after more wizardry down the right wing. Trinidad’s Ishmael Campbell concluded scoring activities in the 66th minute, making a final score of 6 – 2 in Trinidad & Tobago’s favour, meaning that they finished a creditable 4th in the tournament.
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