Argentina Hockey Men's Champions Challenge 1: Semi Final Reports
Argentina’s dream of returning to the top table of international hockey is alive and kicking thanks to a 2-1 win over Ireland in the Semi Finals of the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1.
Goals from Pedro Ibarra and Guillermo Schickendantz proved to be enough to set up a Final meeting with Korea, who were winners against Malaysia earlier in the day.
Korea were in dazzling form in the first Semi Final, powering to a 4-0 half time lead before winning 6-3 against a Malaysia side that defeated them 4-2 in the Pool phase.
Malaysia and Ireland will fight it out for Bronze, with MAS coach Paul Revington coming up against his former charges.
Earlier in the day, Japan beat South Africa and Canada defeated Poland. Japan and Canada will compete in the 5-6 Classification match, while Poland and South Africa do battle in the 7-8 placement game.
The winner of the tournament will earn a place at next year’s FIH Champions Trophy. More information about the matches can be found below.
Complete tournament information can be found at the following link: http://www.fih.ch/en/competitions-170-argentina-hockey-champions-challenge-1-champions
Semi Final Reports
Malaysia stunned by six-goal Korea
Korea have stormed to a sparkling 6-3 victory over the previously unbeaten Malaysia to secure a place in Sunday’s final of the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge in Quilmes. The Koreans avenged the 4-2 defeat they suffered at the hands of their Asian rivals in the Pool phase, with Hyun Hye Sung and Jong Hyun Jang scoring two goals apiece in the victory. Korea will play either Argentina or Ireland in the final, while Malaysia will fight for the Bronze medal.
After a decidedly patchy tournament by their own very high standards, Korea finally showed everyone why they are the highest ranked team in the tournament with a scintillating first half display. The 7th best team in the world were simply brilliant, dominating possession and scoring four times without reply to stun a Malaysian side that had won all four of their matches coming into this game. Korea’s opener came eight minutes into the match thanks to a rising penalty corner flick from Hyun Hye Sung, and he claimed his second of the match 19 minutes later with a smart finish following a driving run from the right. Things went from bad to worse towards the end of the half when Malaysia scored an own goal before Lee Seung Il drilled home a penalty corner to give Korea a huge half time lead.
Malaysia’s second half performance was far better than their first, and eventually pulled a goal back when Chua Boon Huat deflected home a penalty corner in the 48th minute, but Korea’s Jang Jong Hyun restored the four goal advantage with a penalty corner of his own just two minutes later. Again Malaysia hit back when Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim’s drag-flick made the score 5-2 with 18 minutes remaining, but Jang ended any hopes of a comeback when he converted his eighth goal of the tournament in the 60th minute. Malaysia’s Muhammad Marham Mohd Jalil scored a consolation goal five minutes from time, but Korea had already done enough to march into the Sunday’s tournament final.
To see the official match sheet, please click here.
Paul Revington (MAS Coach)
“Korea executed the penalties corner well and our defenders were not as strong as in the previous matches. The team’s character is strong and tomorrow they will have enough confidence to do their best.”
Shin Seok Kyo (KOR Coach)
“The players played very well in today’s match. They were well prepared for this game. We’ve lost in the first match when we played for the group, but we had a special preparation for this match and the players were really efficient today from penalties corners. All the players played a great match.”
“Our next rival can be Ireland or Argentina. And they are both strong. But Argentina has good experienced players, number 4 (Matías Vila), number 9 (Rodrigo Vila), number 7 (Facundo Callioni). They are all good players, with great skills and movement.”
Jong Ho Seo (KOR Player)
“I think we played very well today. It was a tough match as they are really fast. Our specialist corner shooters have trained for this by watching the videos, and they felt confidence to get the result today.”
“We are happy to be in the finals. We would like to play against Argentina. They are a hard opponent, are mentally prepared and the local favourites.”
Argentina defeat Ireland to reach CC1 Final
Argentina’s dream of returning to the top table of international hockey is alive and kicking thanks to a 2-1 win over Ireland in the Semi Finals of the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1. Goals from Pedro Ibarra and Guillermo Schickendantz proved to be enough to set up a Final meeting with Korea, who were winners against Malaysia earlier in the day. The winner of the tournament will earn a place at next year’s FIH Champions Trophy.
A good sized crowd turned up to watch the home favourites in action, but they were denied the chance to see a goal thanks to a fine rear-guard action from Ireland. Argentina were firmly in charge throughout the first half, but were thwarted time and time again by Ireland keeper David Harte, who produced a string of outstanding saves to deny both Rodrigo and Lucas Vila as well as a penalty corner flick from Gonzalo Peillat. Ireland captain Ronan Gormley also found himself in the thick of the action, giving away a penalty corner before redeeming himself by blocking the resulting flick on the goal-line. Ireland were not without their chances, however, with Peter Caruth having two opportunities in the circle with Michael Watt flashing a reverse stick shot across the face of the Argentinean goal.
The home crowd did not have to wait long for a goal to cheer in the second half. A 38th minute penalty corner was brilliantly converted by Pedro Ibarra, who deceived the outstanding Harte with a perfectly placed effort into the bottom corner. The Europeans worked hard to keep themselves in the fight, but Argentina grabbed themselves a second goal in the 50th minute from Guillermo Schickendantz, who grabbed his fourth open play strike of the tournament from close range.
Ireland played their best hockey of the match in the final 20 minutes, but Argentina’s backline held firm until the 66th minute when John Jermyn roofed a penalty corner to give the Green Machine a glimmer of hope. However, it was not to be, and Argentina held on to book a place in the tournament final.
To see the official match sheet, please click here.
Andrew Meredith (IRL Coach)
“Today was not our best match. The first half we defended well and could hold Argentina’s pressure, but in the second half we only played well for 24 minutes … we were dominant but not dominant enough. Tomorrow we will play for the bronze medal with Malaysia, and although we know that in the other bench will be Paul Revington, I am thinking only about us and what we can do to win this match. We hope to do things well tomorrow”.
Ronnan Gormley (IRL Captain)
“It was a hard game, and we played well in the first half but not the second, and it was not enough. We were aggressive in the second half, but couldn’t score. We’ve been improving our game, and tomorrow we want to play a good match and get the medal”.
Franco Nicola (ARG Coach)
“Today was an important match to win, but the most important one will be tomorrow’s match. Who are the favourites for the final? Argentina, of course.”
“I know that Korea is 7th in the world rankings but we are the favourites, because we are mentally and physically ready for tomorrow. We know how to play against Korea”.
Matias Vila (ARG Captain)
“We are happy to be in the final. But we must correct some things for tomorrow; we didn’t defend close to our goal keeper. Tomorrow we will correct things.”