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Minnows France stun Olympic champions Argentina to qualify for cross-overs

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Minnows stunned Olympic champions 5-3 to cause the biggest upset of the tournament in their must-win last Pool A match and book a place in the knock-out stage of the men's here on Thursday.

After and played out a 2-2 draw earlier in the day, world no. 20, the lowest ranked side in the competition, needed an outright win to qualify for the cross-overs and they came out with intent to achieve the goal.

ended their pool engagements on the second spot behind toppers (6 points) on four points on account of a better goal difference than (4 points).

France secured the second spot with a goal difference of +1 as against New Zealand's -2 (minus 2).

will have to pack their bags and leave early as they have been eliminated from the tournament.

As per the format of the tournament, the top four teams from four pools will directly qualify for the quarterfinals while the second and third placed sides will play cross-over matches against teams of other pools for the remaining four last eight berths.

In the last Pool A match, France scored four field goals through (18th minute), Aristide Coisne (26th), Gaspard Baumgarten (30th) and (54th), while the other goal came from a penalty corner conversion by (23rd).

World no. 2 Argentina's goals came from the sticks of (28th) and two penalty corner strikes from (44th, 48th).

Earlier, fought back two goals down to hold to a 2-2 draw in their penultimate Pool A match and qualify for the knock-out stages of here.

World no. 8 Spain scored two field goals in the opening two quarters through (9th minute) and (27th) to go into the halfway break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

But the Black Sticks made a stupendous comeback in the final 10 minutes of the game and scored through Hayden Phillips (50th) and (56th) to share the spoils and secure their place in the cross-over round of the tournament.

It was the Black Sticks who had the first shy at the goal in the sixth minute but strike from close range was saved by Spain

But it was Spain who struck first when Beltran scored from a through ball from Pau Quemada.

Thereafter both the teams made a couple of good moves but they lacked the final touch inside the box.

Spain earned their first penalty corner in the 25th minute but failed to utilise the opportunity.

They extended their lead in the 27th minute when Iglesias scored from close range in the midst of a crowd of Black Sticks from a Ricardo Santana feed.

After an uneventful third quarter, New Zealand pulled a goal back in the 50th minute through Phillips, who received a pass from Inglis on the left side and took his time to smash it into the roof of the net.

Pumped up by the goal, New Zealand went all out in search of the equaliser and four minutes from the final hooter their efforts bore fruit when Russell found the back of the net from the Black Sticks only penalty corner of the match.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 21:25 IST