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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Argentina hold Spain with late goal

July 24, 2006 15:59 IST

Argentina scored in the last minute to hold Spain 1-1 in the Champions Trophy men's field hockey tournament in Terrassa, Spain, on Sunday.

In other matches of the day, Germany and Pakistan drew 3-3 while the Netherlands and Australia played out a 1-1 draw.

Hosts Spain looked set to take full points as they dominated after forging ahead in the 19th minute with a penalty-corner goal from Santiago Freixa.

But an Argentine gamble on two extra strikers in the final 10 minutes paid dividends as Tomas Argento scored 35 seconds before the hooter with a backstick strike on a bouncing ball in the middle of the circle to level the scores 1-1.

"Our tactic was to try to score with the extra strikers and the last minutes of the game were the time to do it, not before," said satisfied Argentine coach Sergio Vigil.

Taeke Taekema scored once from three penalty-corner chances for the Netherlands and Australia's Troy Elder drove in a field goal, set up by Robbie Hammond in a close affair that ended 1-1.

"We had the better of the first half and the Netherlands controlled the second half," said Colin Batch, Australia's assistant coach.

"Neither team wanted to lose so at the end it turned into a stalemate, although we were happy with the way we created space out wide which we have not been able to do lately against teams from Europe," Batch added.

There was a similar upset draw in the earlier match when a poised German side appeared to be in the driving seat thanks to two early goals by Christopher Zeller.

But Sohail Abbas converted a penalty-corner to keep Pakistan in the hunt before half-time and then sent home another penalty-corner within three minutes of the restart to equalise as the Pakistanis upped the pace.

As the Europeans wilted in the heat, Pakistan were buoyed by a Shakeel Abbasi field goal that pushed them in front.

But their joy turned to dust just two minutes short of the final whistle when Matthias Witthaus split the defence to find the net with a powerful backstick drive.

Pakistan coach Asif Bajwa lamented that his team dropped their guard late in the game after scenting victory.

"There were defensive lapses when Germany applied pressure in the last 10 minutes and the players did not listen to me when I was shouting at them," he said.

"They seemed to be carried away with the possibility of winning against Germany."

Like the Kookaburras on Saturday, German coach Bernhard Peters paid tribute to the Pakistanis' verve and determination.

"My players were surprised by the intensity of Pakistan in the second half and we did not play our structure because we lost our ball control when in possession," he said.

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