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Sun, 1 Sep 2002:  2000 (local time) Argentina v China

Online coaching analysis from Marc Lammers, NED National Women's Coach and Grade 1 FIH Coach, direct from Macau, China. 

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85m:  Game goes to strokes.    ML Comment:  CHN keeper (Nie) is very tall and very good.  With Nie in the net,a dn Rognoni not able to be part of the strokes, I think CHN will win.

84m:  Both teams are fighting for their lives now!  ARG just with 2 strikers, but they are creating chances.  CHN under pressure but holding Oneto out of the circle.  

78m:  Rognoni goes down with an injured head again.  Looks nasty.  Gets up…but then gets  a yellow card for the tackle!  If she has been sent off for 10mins, then cannot take a stroke.  Ayelen Stepnik has taken over the sweeper for Rognoni, and Margalot is in the midfield.  ARG now just has a 3-3-3 formation and one striker needs to work hard in defence.  CHN should try and score now with ARG a man down.

75m:  Both teams are playing with less risk than at the end of regular time.  Both teams seem more keen to go to strokes than risk being scored against going to a field goal.

74m:  Aymar is still playing up high.  CHN is now pushing up and their superior fitness is starting to show.  Fu (CHN) is starting to dominate as Aymar did at the end of the second half.  Rognoni (ARG) and Ma (CHN) the 2 sweepers are now very busy at each end.

Full Time Summary:  It was nice to see ARG change their style of play and they then created many chances to score, and were able to score 2 goals.  It really was Oneto and Aymar who created the chances on their own.  CHN was not able to defend Aymar well, although I am not sure whether ARG will keep playing with 4 attackers.   If I was the ARG coach, I would keep playing with 3 defenders and 4 strikers as things are working.

67m:  It is nice to see that ARG significant players of Aymar and Oneto were involved in the scoring of their 2 goals.  CHN have not reacted to Aymar being an extra attacker, and the sweeper have not marked her.  She is too dangerous a player to have left unmarked, and ARG have scored twice as a result.

66m:  ARG goal:  CHN 2 ARG 2.  Oneto scored a field goal from the backline after solo run by Aymar.

65m:  It is no surprise that as soon as ARG changed the way they play, a goal was scored.  I think we will now see some nice hockey with chances for both teams to score.  

62m:  ARG goal.  CHN 2 ARG 1.  Vanino Oneto scores a field goal after a circle melee.

62m:  CHN are still very strong in their sprints.  Their fitness is so high.  ARG have made the change and Hernandez is now up in the midfield, and Aymar in attack.   But with just 8 mins to go, I think this is a little late.   There is a risk against the CHN counterattack of course, but you have to take the risk 2-0 down.

57m:  Its nice to see the discipline in the CHN team.  They are always bowing to the coach during the game if he says anything from the sideline.  They have worn the team strip all week on and off the field, training and at meals.  Sometimes I am jealous of the CHN coach (Kim Chang Back)!   It is also interesting to see that CHN are still pressing the ARG team as if the score was 0-0.  They are not allowing ARG to build a regular attack.

55m:  ARG is now trying to find Aymar quickly now, and they are looking for her on every attack.  I see now that Sergio (ARG coach) is calling from the sideline and it looks as though they will change something.

50m:  ARG still leaving just Oneto up front and high.   They need to take some risks.  The CHN players are defending the centre very well and then when they make the intercepts, the are counterattacking very quickly with width.  It almost looks as though ARG are happy with a silver medal.   They are not aggressive enough at the moment to score 2 goals.

45m:  Rognoni (ARG) is on the attack now for the first time in the second half.  One of the problems of ARG is they have only 1 way to play with 4 defenders and 3 midfielders, and they find it hard to change if things go wrong.  They never practice other styles of hockey, like AUS and NED do in these tournaments.  They are playing for this inflexibility now.  They need to score a goal very soon, or CHN will win with their superior fitness.

40m:  CHN is using many triangle passes to get behind the ARG all over the field.  ARG are not running with the CHN forwards and allowing the triangle passes to be formed.   ARG coach (Vigil) has to take a risk now before the game gets out of hand.  I would play with 4 strikers and 3 defenders to put more pressure on CHN.  If he doesn’t change soon, the game will end 2-0 to CHN.

38m:  Not only are the CHN attack play well, but the defence is extremely low and flat.  They all wear the hand guards on the left hand and are all very difficult to beat on the one on one.  ARG still need to push one of their defenders up the field, as Oneto has not had much of the ball.  As is often the case, the ARG goalkeeper (Antoniska) is starting the flow of play with the quick pass to Rognoni.

Half Time Summary:  CHN has surprised me that they are not only compact in defence as a team, but they have also cut out the key players for ARG in Aymar and Oneto.  They are so fast with their counterattack and leading up front, they are able to effectively attack against the ARG midfield.  ARG need to increase their midfield strength as they are not getting enough balls up to their strikers.  The long ball from Rognoni (ARG) is not getting through, and she is being forced to hit wide.  CHN is compacting their midfield, and its working.

32m:  Rognoni (ARG) has fallen back to a rear sweeper now which is very strange given they are 0-2 down.   They shouldn’t be playing with 4 defenders and 3 midfielders….they should have 3 defenders and 4 midfielders for extra drive.  A weakness of ARG is if their key players (Aymar, Oneto) are marked well, then they have plenty of problems in attacking well.  They also have some weakness on the bench, whereas the CHN team is well balanced on and off the field.

26m:  CHN goal.  CHN 2 ARG 0.  Reverse stick field goal scored by Hou Xiao Lan off a breakaway.

26m:  CHN have improved their penalty corner conversions since last year, and this made a big difference to their performance here in Macau.  Their ability in the field goal range is also better, as their circle penetrations are lower but field goals are higher.   Their forwards are also changing leads and running many miles up front.  This has caused the opposition defenders to work very hard, and why they are so successful at the end of the games.

20m:  The 2 umpires are picking up the deliberate stick blocking by the ARG players.  This is not often blown, and these umpires are doing are good job.  ARG have moved Gambero into the midfield and she is playing more in front of her defence which is giving ARG more drive.  CHN still look very dangerous on the counterattack due to their speed and fitness.

17m:  CHN Goal.  CHN 1 ARG 0.  PC rebound scored by Mai Shoo Yan.

16m:  ARG coach (Sergio Vigil) has not made any substitutions.  CHN has already made many changes.  This could mean  that Vigil is concerned about the depth of his bench, but runs the risk of his players getting tired.

13m:  ARG is applying much pressure to the CHN defence.  Rognoni has space in front of her in the midfield and she is using it so ARG has control of the game in their attack.

9m:  CHN is playing with Ma in deep defence as sweeper.  ARG will find they have a lot of space in the midfield because she is playing so deep.  One of CHN’s key players Fu is receiving the ball a lot so far on the right side of the field.  Rognoni and Aicega have the dual role of marking Fu.

6m:  It is a surprise that Ferari (ARG) is playing right defence with a broken nose.  She has been playing at left defence for all other games.   ARG still keeping Oneto up high, and defending with just 10 players.

0m:  I expect a very good quality final.  Both teams are essentially the same as the Sydney Olympics.  AUS and NED changed many players.  Oneto (ARG) will stay high….this leaves space for Aymar (ARG) in the midfield.  CHN will play like always which is compact and tight in both attack and defence.  They are very fit.   Rognoni is back for ARG, and she will make a big difference for ARG.

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