Argentina beat Pakistan 3-1 in the quarter final of the Hockey World League Semifinal Round which is also the qualifiers for the Hockey World Cup.
Argentina, world’s no 1 ranked side dominated for large phases. Their most potent weapon Gonzalo Pelliat
was a little off colour. He converted only one out of the eight penalty corners. Pakistani net minder Amjad’s brilliance also denied him on a few occasions. Though there was no score in the first 15 minutes but it was all Argentina, who had three penalty corners. Pakistan failed to make a single circle penetration.
In the second quarter, after Argentina wasted another PC, Pakistan had a good attacking spree. Two PCs were obtained but the green shirts couldnt make them count.
Soon, Amjad thwarted another PC. However, in the 22nd minute after Amjad had made an outstanding save off a top of the circle attempt, a rash stick challenge by Aleem Bilal resulted in a penalty stroke. Maico Casella cashed in on it.
Half time: Argentina: 1 Pakistan: 0
The South Americans held the upper hand throughout the third quarter. Off the sixth PC, finally the maestro scored. It was missile of a flick by Pelliat.
In the 44th minute, it was 3-0. A wonderful reverse stick pass from left of the circle by Ortiz was easily slotted in at the far post by Casella, standing unmarked close to the goal.
The last quarter was perhaps the most evenly contested.
Off the third PC, Abubakr’s well placed flick was brilliantly stopped by the defender on the line. However, off the rebound, the ball remained in the Argentine circle for a while. Finally Ali Shan’s forceful reverse shot sounded the board for Pakistan’s only goal.
Argentina’s eight PC saw the save of the match. An air borne Amjad Ali put the full blooded Pelliat attempt out with the edge of his stick held well above the head in fully stretched right arm.
Now, Pakistan would appear in the 5-8 position play off matches starting from Saturday.
Argentina: Maico Casella (2) & Gonzalo Pelliat
Pakistan: Ali Shan
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