Argentina qualify for Semi Finals at HWL event in Johor Bahru
Pool A winners Argentina have qualified for the Semi Finals of the Hockey World League Semi Final event in Johor Bahru courtesy of an 2-0 triumph over South Africa. 20 year old penalty corner star Gonzalo Peillat scored both of the goals, moving Argentina a step closer to securing a place at the next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague.
The South Americans were the dominant force throughout the first half, with the South African defence being forced to defend in numbers in a bid to keep the lively Argentinean strike force at bay. The South African back line was in superb form, with goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse making a number of world class saves to deny their opponents. Lucas Rossi, Gonzalo Peillat and Lucas Villa were all thwarted thanks to stunning blocks from South Africa’s agile shot-stopper, before Argentina finally got a mark on the score-sheet in the 27th minute. Peillat was the scorer, with his penalty corner drag-flick taking a wicked deflection which deceived the stranded Pieterse, who produced another miraculous save to deny Guillermo Schickendantz just before half time.
Argentina continued their fine form in the second period, and doubled their lead in the 40th minute. Again it was Peillat who was on target, launching an unstoppable penalty corner flick just inside the left post to put the South Americans on firm ground.
Despite a 47th minute yellow card for Lloyd Norris-Jones, South Africa gave a much better showing of themselves in the second half and won a handful of penalty corners, but could not find a way through Argentina’s rock solid defensive wall.
In the dying minutes of the match, South Africa went broke and replaced their goalkeeper with an outfield player, hoping that the extra outfield player could help them save the game. However, Argentina remained in firm control, and finished the match with a clean sheet.
Argentina’s Semi Final opponents will be either England or Japan, who play each other in the second match of the day here in Johor.Back