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Japan shock Argentina
September 12, 2006 22:12 IST
Japan, the lowest ranked team in the ongoing 11th FIH men's hockey World Cup, scored a huge upset when they beat Argentina 4-3 in Monchengladbach, Germany, on Tuesday.
It was Japan's first victory in Pool A.
Akiro Ito (7th and 68th minutes) turned out to be Japan's hero with a two-goal strike while Kazuyuki Ozawa (44th) and Hiroki Sakamoto (61st) struck a goal apiece.
Argentina, No. 7 in the FIH world rankings, were left a shattered side and finished their league engagements with a tally of four points while Japan have three with a match against Spain to follow on Wednesday.
After Japan scored first, Argentina failed to build on a 2-1 and 3-2 advantage and tasted their third defeat in five matches.
Rodrigo Vila (32nd, 34th) and Lucas Camareri (46th) were the Argentine scorers.
Earlier, Australia sealed a berth in the semi-finals, beating New Zealand 7-1.
The result took the Olympic champions' tally to nine points. They play Pakistan (5 points) in their concluding league fixture on Wednesday.
The Aussies are currently at the top of Pool A, ahead of Spain, who have eight points with two matches to go, while the Kiwis completed their league engagements with seven.
Australia put on an awesome exhibition of firepower with Jamie Dwyer (2nd, 64th minutes), Michael McCann (26th), Troy Elder (32nd), Matthew Naylor (48th), Travis Brooks (56th) and
Luke Doerner (66th) doing the scoring.
The only respite that the Kiwis had was in the opening 20 minutes when the Aussies, after scoring early, relaxed and the New Zealanders slotted in their only goal.
Mitesh Patel picked a rebound off goalkeeper Stephen Mowlam, who had blocked a Hayden Shaw penalty-corner attempt in the 21st minute.
Thereafter, the Aussies took command and ruthlessly cut open their opponents. It was as perfect a game that any team could play.