Argentina vs. Spain: 1-0 (half-time: 0-0)
Both teams needed to redeem themselves after a disappointing starts in this competition. Pace was cautious for the first ten minutes of play, before the South Americans started to progressively take control of the proceedings. Actions in the circle were however scarce and both keepers saw little action worth fretting about.
Only real chance in the period was for Argentina in the 30th minute on a couple of penalty-corners, but ace-striker Gonzalo Peillat was off target on both and half-time was reached on a scoreless tie reflecting well the period.
Peillat had another penalty-corner chance early in the period, but his drag flick went way high in the stands. It is only in the 46th minute that Argentina finally went on the scoreboard when Manuel Nicolas Sacchetti intercepted in the circle a clearance from the defense and blasted it back in goal.
Play suddenly became more animated and Spain was all over the Argentinean circle for a while. They had their first penalty-corner in the 56th minute but their double-fake did not fool the Argentinean defense. Things started to heat off in the final ten minutes and a few yellow cards were handed out to cool the tempters.
Argentina survived another penalty-corner scare and, despite been short two players for a while, managed to keep their meagre on-goal lead to the end, salvaging some pride with the 3 points of the win. They finish 3rd in Pool B and are out of the quarter-finals for the first time in nine Junior World Cup appearances.
For more information and pictures of ARG vs. ESP, click here.
Australia vs. France: 2-0 (half-time: 0-0)
Both teams were already through to the quarter-finals after winning their initial two matches and were playing for top of the pool and a better draw later in the competition. The mood was light and action was flowing back and forth pleasantly in the initial minutes of play. Teams traded early penalty-corners but with no real danger for the keepers.
William Gilmour had a chance for Australia alone in front of Edgar Reynaud in the French goal but blasted his shot wide. Simon Martin Brisac created a good chance with a quick free-hit and a 40m run through the Australian defense but his last pass in front of the empty net was misunderstood by his teammate. Despite missing key midfielder Hugo Genestet, France were holding their ground handsomely in front of the Oceania Champions.
Goal-keeper Edgar Reynaud was again in fine form and thwarted some hot Australian attempts. The Kookaburras put some of their best chances high and wide and the two teams were still on par 0-0 going into the break.
Australia did not waste time in second period and jumped into the lead by Frank Main in the 37th minute. France had a good reaction but could not penetrate the dense Australian defense. Play was entertaining, very intense and physical at times. Australia took advantage of a numerical advantage to force a corner and Cameron Joyce capitalized with a straight forward low shot, giving his team a small 2-goal cushion.
With time passing and little chance of altering the final result, both teams gave field time to their alternate goal-keepers and Australia walked off with the win and top of Pool B, while France were satisfied with their performance against a higher ranked team and their qualification for the quarter-final for the first time since 1985.
For more information and pictures of AUS vs. FRA, click here.
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