England defeated as Retegui's charges reach Final in Johor Bahru
Argentina – England 3-1 (3-0)
World number ten Argentina continued their glorious run in the Hockey World League Semi Final competition in Johor, Malaysia with a brilliant 3-1 win over fourth ranked England. The victory puts them into Sunday’s tournament final where they will face either Germany or Korea, who play each other in today’s final match. By sealing a top three finish at this event, Argentina’s participation in the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup is confirmed.
The South Americans produced a stunning first half performance, dominating their higher ranked opponents for much of the period. It took them less than three minutes to register the first goal, with Facundo Callioni diverting a ferocious cross from Juan Martin Lopez into George Pinner’s goal from close range. The lead was doubled four minutes later through Juan Garreta, who took advantage of England’s failure to effectively clear their lines before Gonzalo Peillat slammed home a trade-mark penalty corner drag-flick to give Argentina a 3-0 lead inside 11 minutes.
England certainly improved as the half progressed, but failed to seriously test Argentina shot-stopper Juan Vivaldi. That all changed 14 minutes into the second half when Vivaldi made two brilliant blocks from a penalty corner before Nick Catlin volleyed the ball into the top corner to give England a life-line, but it proved to be the only goal that they would score in the game.
“It was a great match, and qualify for the World Cup is a dream”, said a thrilled Argentina coach Carlos Retegui shortly after the match. “It was a great performance against a top level team. We are really happy as we are building a new group with youth and experience.”
England coach Bobby Crutchley felt that his team were too slow out of the blocks in the contest. “If you drop your standards a little bit you’ll get punished by a good team like Argentina. As a group we have to learn from this.”Back