Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Argentina 4 v 0 Italy

Tuesday 25th June 2013
Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals Pool A
Quintin Hogg Memorial Sports Ground, Chiswick
Admission: £15.00
Programme: £3.00
Attendance: ??
Match Rating: 4

After a break of just under an hour, the second game of the day started at 3pm and would decide the final standings in Pool A. It would also pitch together the highest and lowest ranked teams taking part in this event, with second ranked Argentina taking on 17th ranked Italy. At the weekend, Argentina beat the USA 1-0 and then China 3-2, both wins coming with goals in the last couple of minutes. Italy lost to China 1-2 but then beat the USA by the same scoreline.

Argentina certainly didn’t live up to their lofty ranking in the early stages of this match, as Italy looked fairly comfortable, although they did have a let-off with less than five minutes on the clock when a soft deflection towards goal came off the bottom of the right hand post. With half an hour gone, they did take the lead, when the Italians were dispossessed of the ball near the half way line and after a drive through the centre, the ball was passed to Rosario Luchetti, who hit the ball powerfully across the keeper, who got her stick to the ball but the ball trickled agonisingly over the line.

Argentina retained their narrow lead at the interval, with Italy still very much in the game. Unfortunately for them, Argentina doubled their lead less than a minute after the restart when the ball was pulled back and then powerfully struck home Rocio Sanchez Moccia, although again the Italian keeper got something on it, this time her hand failing to prevent the ball looping back into the net. On 40 minutes, following a penalty corner, a powerful shot by Argentina hit the cross bar and went over. The match was all over as a contest 12 minutes from time, when a long diagonal ball towards goal was deflected into the net from close range by Gisele Juarez for Argentina’s third, but again only after hitting the Italian keeper. Argentina made it four five minutes from time, when a neat passing move was finished off by Rocio Sanchez tapping into an unguarded net from close range. So a convincing scoreline, which was expected, although Italy put up a creditable performance.

With Pool A now complete, Argentina topped the Pool with nine points and would face the bottom placed team in Pool B in the Quarter Finals, China finished second on six points and will play the third place team in Pool B, Italy finished third with three points and would play the second place team from Pool B, whilst the USA finished bottom with no points, and would have to play the top team from Pool B.

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