October 16, 2001

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Argentina shock Netherlands

Our Correspondent

Argentina pulled off an upset in Pool F in the men's junior World Cup hockey tournament, beating the Netherlands 3-2 at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre, in Hobart, Australia, on Tuesday.

The result threw the pool wide open and increased Argentina's chances of making the last four stage. With four points from two matches, the South Americans only need a draw against Australia in their concluding match of the pool on Wednesday to make the grade.

The result also meant that India can make the semi-finals if they beat the Netherlands, and Australia loses to Argentina on Wednesday. India will be playing the last match of the pool, and should Australia and Argentina draw in the earlier match, India will know the margin by which they will have to beat the Netherlands to displace Australia, who would also have four points, on goals, in the event of a draw against Argentina.

In Pool E, Germany proved too good for Korea, winning 7-3 and assuring themselves a berth in the semi-finals.

It was Germany's second victory in Pool E, after their 2-1 win over Spain. For Korea, it was their second defeat. They had lost to England 2-5 on Saturday.

For Germany, Matthias Witthaus (5th), Niklas Meinert (15th), Max Landshut (26th), Florian Keller (35th), Tibor Weibenborn (49th), Nicolas Emmering (57th) and Christopher Zeller (62nd) were the scorers while Chul Kim, in 26th minute, Jong Seo (40th) and Shin Kang (56th) scored for Korea.

In other matches for the 9 to 16 positions, New Zealand beat France 4-3 while South Africa and Malaysia drew 1-1.

The Argentina-Netherlands match was a tactical battle. Following their big victory over Australia on Sunday, the Dutch needed to win to seal a berth in the semi-finals. But the Spaniards, who held fancied India 2-2 on Sunday, were in no mood to allow the Dutchmen's reputation to rule. They came out with a game plan and stuck to it. And that game plan was to control the midfield and then make breakaway raids into Dutch territory. It helped them get three goals in the first-half, which, in the end, proved too much for the Dutch to neutralise.

The Netherlands got off to a whirlwind start, scoring in the fourth minute through Timo Bruinsma, who did well to cut off a cross from the right and sound the boards in a flash.

But Argentina did not take too long to hit back, as Lucs Cammareri showed he too could score in similar fashion. In the sixth minute, he did well to reach a cross from the right at the top of the circle and drive home.

A goal a piece within the first six minutes set the stage for a battle royale. Argentina used the long high ball to unsettle the Dutch defence. From once such move they were able to force a penalty-croner in the 17th minute but Juan Gilardi, who got both the goals in the draw against India, saw his hit being saved by goalkeeper Klaas Veering.

But three minutes later Veering was helpless as he rushed out to cut off a good run into the circle by Rodrigo Villa. Even as he slid to the ground, the Argentina captain did well to scoop the ball over him into an untenanted cage and put his team ahead 2-1.

The Netherlands pressed hard for an answer to the goal and even forced two penalty-corners but without success.

Argentina made it 3-1 with three minutes to go for the breather after some dogged defending, when Alejandro Pasquali tore away from a counter attack and beat goallkeeper Veering from handshaking distance.

In the second session session, Argentina put more men in defence as a result of which the Dutch always looked threatening and forced several penalty-corners. They were able to score in the 63rd minute from their fifth penalty-corner of the second half through Jeroen Koops, who came in as substitute for Jeroen Koops. His drag flick sailed to the top of the net, giving Argentine goalkeeper Joaquim Berthold no chance whatsoever (2-3).

In the remaining time, the Netherlands made a feverish search for the equaliser but Argentina held on to emerge triumphant.

Complete Coverage: 7th Junior Men's World Cup 2001

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