GRAND FINAL MATCH
Argentina vs Chile
8 – 7
Argentina champions as Ocampo scores overtime winner
Argentina won their third FIP World Championship with an overtime goal by Lucio Fernandez Ocampo in dramatic scenes at Sydney Polo Club.
In a nail biting finale, it was Ocampo who scored the goal that tied the game for Argentina with one second remaining in the final chukka and the golden goal in overtime.
Argentina had the upper hand in the first half that saw the Chileans blunt the Argentine attack with relentless man marking. Time and time again Argentina tried to free up the play but saw multiple attempted passes blocked.
Over the six chukkas Argentina fouled 15 times to Chile’s 4, demonstrating the pressure Chile had put them under.
Argentina had 13 unsuccessful shots to just four from Chile who also knocked-in six times to just two from Argentina. If Argentina looked in more control in the first half, it was Andres Vidal who was the rock for Chile. He gained control of the game in the second half.
While Argentina won far more first phase possession, winning 15 throw ins to six from Chile, it was Chile in the second half who managed to find runners and gain the ascendency in the second half.
As commentator Glen Gilmore said during the game, “both teams protect the man with the ball so well.” In doing so the game remained tense rather than free flowing.
The build up to the dramatic final two chukkas started in the fourth.
With the scores tied 6-6, the game came alive when Chilean playmaker Vidal passed high and long and found his teammate Perrera behind the Argentine number four Tomas Panelo.
Throughout the game, Panelo had ridden past the last attacker to cover in defence for Argentina. This time Perrera found himself in space and latched on to the Vidal pass to give Chile the lead.
If Panelo had left the back door open moments earlier, he then made up for it coolly drilling a safety sixty to tie things up at 7-7. It was such a casual approach and strike from the 17 year old under intense pressure.
If Vidal had been the differentiator between the two teams in the second half until then, he then produced the goal of the tournament as he found himself with Panelo to beat in the Argentine half.
Perhaps thinking his horse didn’t have the legs to beat the Argentine back, Vidal attempted an outrageous long range shot from 120 yards. It split the posts and Chile were ahead with less than a minute remaining in the sixth chukka and the champions looked like they would be the first nation to defend their title.
Out came Panelo from the throw-in, 30 seconds remaining, curving right as he headed up field. With Chile defenders scrambling ahead of him just inside the Chilean half he cut back in, losing control of the ball.
Terrified of committing a foul, the Chilean defenders left the ball and veteran Hector Guerrero picked up the ball and advanced up field. With 10 seconds remaining he was pushed off the play but his teammate Ocampo was first to pick up the ball behind him, hammering a shot through the posts.
The Chileans thought Ocampo had fouled – they believed he either needed to hit it on the nearside or that there was another Chilean on the line – but instead the champions had to canter back and reset for the extra chukka.
With Chile in possession near the half way line, Perrera, who had controlled the game so well from the back for Chile, attempted to play another long pass. This time his pass was blocked by Ocampo and the Argentine, still with a lot to do, took the ball nearside and then steadied himself on the offside to run the ball through the posts.
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