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Argentina win junior hockey title

July 11, 2005 10:56 IST

South American champions Argentina scored a last gasp-goal to win the Rabobank Junior World Cup hockey tournament shocking Australia 2-1 in the final at Rotterdam on Sunday.

Pedro Ibarra, the man with a golden arm, scored from a penalty corner in the 70th minute to help Argentina win the title.

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Ibarra, who had scored the golden goal in the team's 2-1 success against Spain in the semi-finals, repeated the performance by converting a set-piece that was completed after the full-time hooter.

Argentina displayed tremendous resilience as they turned back a 0-1 deficit, after Australia's Colin Hennessey converted a penalty stroke in the 34th minute for his 15th goal of the tournament.

Lucas Vila flicked in a penalty stroke to put Argentina on level terms after 40 minutes.

Thereafter, the match swung from end to end with both teams surviving some close calls.

If Argentina forwards fumbled from close, the Aussies found Juan Espinosa a difficult man to beat at the other end. The Argentine goalkeeper brought off several great reflex saves to deny the Australians.

With both teams having equal share of the exchanges, it was anybody's game until Argentina received a penalty corner seconds before the close of regulation period and Ibarra came up with a withering shot to the board for the match-winner.

Argentina, who had finished runners-up to India in the 2001 World Cup at Hobart, thus maintained their unbeaten record in the current event during which they played eight matches, winning seven, including 3-1 against Australia in the Super 12 league and drawing goalless with Belgium.

The final standings:

1. Argentina; 2. Australia; 3. Spain; 4. India; 5. The Netherlands; 6. Germany; 7. Pakistan; 8. Korea; 9. England; 10. Malaysia; 11. Belgium; 12. Egypt; 13. South Africa; 14. Poland; 15. Chile; 16. Mexico.


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