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Argentine men lead South American Championship
21 Mar 2003 10:46


The men's Argentine team jumped into the lead of the fifth South American Championship by defeating Uruguay 13-1, on Wednesday at the Club Manquehue.

With this result, Argentina are at the top of the South American Championship - which will qualify the champion for the next Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in August - with nine points, followed by Chile with six points, but a match in hand.

The Argentine team fully dominated the first half to go to half-time with an 8-0 lead, an advantage that could have been increased, but Jorge Ruiz's players missed two penalty strokes - one, in the 27th minute, when the shot by Juan Manuel Esparis was excellently saved by Uruguayan keeper Sebastián Perciavalle, the other, five minutes later, executed by Matías Paredes was deflected over the cross-bar.

Argentina's striker, Rodrigo Vila, was a real nightmare for the "LightBlue" defence, and he opened the score two minutes from the start. Four minutes later, Matías Cammareri capitalized on a left cross to put Argentina 2-0 ahead.

The other goals were scored by Juan Pablo Hourquebié, in the 12th minute; Rodrigo Vila, in the 15th; Lucas Cammareri, in the 18th; Matías Paredes, in the 24th minute; Germán Orozco in the 26th and 56th minutes; Marcelo Del Negro (34, 46 and 50 minutes) and Juan Manuel Esparis, in the 52nd and 69th minutes.

Uruguay started the match deciding to oppose tough resistance, placing four midfielders and only two fast strikers, but the Argentine team's technical superiority overwhelmed Uruguay's hopes during the first 35 minutes.

But things changed after half-time as Argentina lost concentration and also precision. Some Argentines blamed Uruguay's trick of constantly interrupting play, but in fact this attitude would have been penalised by the umpires and on the other hand, Argentina allowed their rivals to drag them into their tactics.

Uruguay, then, showed more decision than in the first half, netting a goal let through - again - by one of the best Argentine keepers, Pablo Moreira. A rush by Uruguay finished in a long shot that Moreira cleared off, but Uruguay's Marcelo Carrara intercept the ball in the edge of the circle to cross it to Mariano Mallo, who flicked it into net.

The goal celebrated in soccer World Cup style as Mallo took off his jersey, running all over the field. The double celebration was that Mallo is the number one goalkeeper of the Uruguayan team, but he played in the field for a couple of reasons: firstly because of his good physical condition and his stamina and secondly because of the absence of two key players such as

Rafael Colina, who was shown the red card in the match against Brazil and had to serve a one-match ban, along with Nicol s Tixe's injury (a strained leg muscle).

Argentina will play Paraguay on Friday.

Argentina: Moreira; Avila, Orozco, Riccardi, García González; M. Cammareri,

Rey, Hourquebié; Esparis, R. Vila and Paredes. Also played: L. Cammareri,

Aronno, González, Del Negro and Stepnik. Coach: Jorge Ruiz.

Uruguay: Perciavalle; Castillo, Grillo, Segade, Stanham; Turnés, Xicart,Carrara, P. Draper; M. Tixe and J. Pérez. Also played: Mallo, Correa, D.

Pérez and G. Draper. Coach: Jean Elizalde.

Umpires: Ronald Stein (Chile) and Albert Marcano (Trinidad & Tobago).


In an even match, Peru defeated Brazil 1-0 in the first match of the day.

Isaac Denegri gave Peru the win with a short corner goal, in the 23rdminute.


Led by Argentine coach Miguel Mac Cormik, the Paraguayan girls got theirfirst victory by 1-0 against Peru.

In a poor match, full of mistakes, Paraguay gained the three points witha short corner goal, in the 38th minute, through Tamara Spiridonoff.


Men: 1. Argentina played 3-9 points; 2. Chile 2-6; 3. Uruguay 3-6; 4. Peru

3-3; 5. Brazil 3-0; 6. Paraguay 2-0.

Women: 1. Chile 2-6; 2. Uruguay 2-3; 3. Argentina 1-3; 4. Paraguay 3-3; 5.

Peru 2-0.

* Graciela H. Ortiz is the Buenos Aires Herald sports editor and

www.cityhockey.com columnist.

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