Holland snatch last-gasp win over Argentina
Defending champions the Netherlands were given a tough time by Argentina before they could take full points from their second fixture in the men's hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
It needed a goal from their consistent scorer Teun de Nooijer in the dying minutes to register a 2-1 victory over the South Americans.
The victory ensured that the Dutch stayed level on points with Germany, Pakistan and Spain - their main rivals in Pool A -- who also earned full points from their matches on Monday.
As usual the South Americans matched the Europeans in almost every department with their aggressive style of play. Jorge Lombi, Mario Almada and Santiago Capurro were always a threat to the Dutch defence. In the 10th minute, Lombi struck from a field goal to give Argentina the lead and get his first goal of the tournament.
However, the lead lasted just six minutes as substitute Ronald Brouwer restored parity for the Netherlands with a fine effort after much Dutch pressure on the Argentine goal.
In the second session, both teams mixed caution with aggression in search of the winning goal. And just when the match looked set for a draw, Teun de Nooijer, who had scored the fourth goal in Holland's 4-0 win over New Zealand on Sunday, snatched the winner. With just a minute to go for the hooter, he latched onto a ball following a penalty-corner melee and despatched it past Argentina goalkeeper Mariano Chao.
In the penultimate match of the day, in the same pool, Spain beat New Zealand 3-1 to also register their second victory.
It was New Zealand who took the lead through Umesh Parag in the ninth minute. But the Spaniards gradually clawed their way back into the match, and after Xavier Ribas put them on level terms off a penalty-corner at the stroke of half-time, there was nothing the Kiwis could dop to stop them.
Captain Xavier Arnau converted another penalty-corner in the 53rd minute before Juan Escarre put the result beyond doubt three minutes from the end from a field goal.
Spain has a big match next, against Germany on February 27.
Pakistan, Germany score second wins
Mail Sports Editor