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Argentina take strong step towards final
27 Jun 2008 18:47

© FIH / Dr. Wolfgang Sternberger

In the first match of the final round of pool matches and today's only encounter, Argentina booked yet another win, defeating Korea convincingly and deservedly 4-1. These three points put Argentina in an excellent position to reach Sunday's final, but they depend on tomorrow's results.

Argentina defeat Korea 4:2 (1:0)

In an open battle game from the beginning, there were intense exchanges with the ball moving back and forth between the teams a lot but few scoring opportunities. 25 minutes into the match, Argentina won their first penalty corner of the match and used it well: Juan Gilardi's flick was blocked, but Matias Paredes slapped home the rebound.

Korea managed the equalizer shortly after the break, once more from a penalty corner, when Jong Hyun Jang sunk his fifth goal of the tournament, but the joy was shortlived. Argentina soon pulled away again when a diving Rodri Vila deflected a great Juan Martin Lopez pass over the line. Ten minutes later, Juan Gilardi added another for the South Americans, converting a penalty corner.

Within three minutes, Argentina piled on yet another goal, when Rodri Vila scored his second of the day on the rebound off a short corner dragflick by younger brother Lucas, widening the gap to three goals.

Aware that goal difference may well become the deciding criteria in determining this event's finalists, Argentina kept pushing, but ended up conceding a penalty stroke rather than scoring. Jong Hyun Jang coolly flicked to the top left corner of the goal, scoring his second of the day and sixth of the tournament, putting him in joint lead in the scorer list with Germany's Florian Keller.

The final few minutes of the match wound down, and the final result stood at 4-2. This victory puts Argentina back to the top of the standings and make them a strong contender for the final. If both Spain and Australia win tomorrow however, they will push Argentina down to the bronze medal match - which would still be the best Champions Trophy finishing ever for the South Americans who in three participations have not made it past fifth place.

The final round of pool matches continues and finished tomorrow with the encounters between Germany and Spain at 1pm and the Netherlands and Australia at 3pm.

For more information on the tournament, including action photos, live commentary from ongoing matches and previews for upcoming matches, please visit the dedicated tournament site.

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