Day 3 of the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final saw Germany, Canada and host nation Argentina qualify for Thursday’s quarter-final. Who will grab the fourth and last available spot will be decided between Spain and Austria.
Argentina’s Leones walked away with a narrow 2-1 victory over Canada thanks to a late Gonzalo Peillat penalty corner goal. Earlier, Germany kept a clean sheet with their 5-0 over Austria. On Sunday, the two unbeaten teams from Argentina and Germany will play off with Austria taking on Spain in a key match for the quarter-final qualification.
Match 11: Germany v Austria 5-0 (1-0)
Germany secured their spot in Thursday’s quarter-final thanks to an impressive 5-0 win over Austria. Germany and Canada are both on six points in pool B, while Austria can gain a maximum of three points in their remaining match against Spain.
Niklas Wellen (11’) opened the scoring in this German-speaking encounter when he converted after good work from Mats Grambusch on the right.
Earlier, Austria had won a penalty corner in the first minute but German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi managed to save Michael Körper’s drag-flick. Afterwards Germany took control of the match maintaining possession in the Austrian half. Oscar Deecke (40’) doubled the lead in the third quarter when he capped off a flowing team move with a precise finish.
Christopher Zeller (50’) increased the score to 3-0 when netting from a penalty corner. The Olympic champions added two more goals thanks to the youngsters Christopher Rühr (55’) and Mats Grambusch (59’).
This match was a special one for Germany’s Tobias Hauke and Tobias Walter and the Austrians Körper, Benjamin Stanzl and Xaver Hasun as they all play club hockey for Harvestehuder THC in Hamburg. “Benni and I are in the same team for six years now. All of them are my friends, so I hope that Austria make the quarter-finals,” said Hauke.
Thoughts on the match
Christopher Rühr (GER)
“We didn’t really use our chances in the first half. We changed our game structure in the second half which allowed us to create more opportunities.”
Michael Körper (AUT)
“We played much better than in our first two matches. We showed more confidence but saved the goal scoring for our match against Spain. Losing 5-0 today was tough but I think we have improved and now we will give everything to qualify for the quarter-final.”
Match 12: Argentina v Canada 2-1 (1-1)
FIH Rising star of 2015 Gonzalo Peillat struck late to earn Argentina a 2-1 win over Canada in pool B. The Leones, Germany and Canada are all qualified for Thursday’s quarter-final while Spain and Austria fight for the last available spot at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final.
The first quarter was goalless despite a number of chances either side. Argentina were first on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a well-taken penalty stroke from Juan Gilardi. The stroke was awarded after a Facundo Callioni got fouled.
However, Canada managed to level the score to 1-1 before halftime thanks to a great effort by Sukhi Pansar who rounded a defender before slotting the ball home.
The stadium was crowded on Saturday night with the spectators getting excited every time an Argentine player got the ball. Soccer legend Diego Maradona was also watching from the stands.
The game-winning goal arrived in the 45th minute when Peillat’s low flick defeated the outstanding Canadian goalie David Carter.
Thoughts on the match
David Carter (CAN)
“It was a good game for me, especially after the first saves I felt really comfortable. We did defend as a team which was good. We are happy to be qualified for the quarter-finals. We want to finish in the top three to qualify directly for the Olympics.”
Agustin Mazilli (ARG)
“Today we haven’t played really well. We need to act more as a team. This needs to be better tomorrow when we play Germany.”