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Olympic champions Argentina, NZ score hard-fought wins

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Agustin and scored a brace each to help Olympic champions eke out a 4-3 win over Spain, while scrapped past 2-1 in their opening matches of World Cup here Thursday.

Six places may separate the two teams in the FIH rankings but world number eight gave Argentina, ranked second, a run for their money in the high-scoring Pool A match that produced end-to-end

The Los Leones had to dish out every trick from their arsenal to get the better of a fighting Spanish side, which matched their rivals in every department throughout.

(4th, 15th minutes) and Peillat (15th, 49th) were the goal scorers for Argentina, while Spain's goals came from the sticks of (3rd), Josep Romeu (14th) and Vicenc Ruiz (35th).

In the day's second Pool A match, scored two field goals through (16th) and (56th) to get the better of

France's lone goal came a minute away from the final hooter through a penalty corner conversion by (59th).

In the first game, stunned the Argentines as early as in the third minute through young Gonzalez's fine field strike past Argetina from a move which he only started.

But a minute later drew level for Argentina, deflecting in a cross from the right wing past Spain's

restored their lead in the 14th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Romeu.

It was an end-to-end battle as Mazzilli (15th minute) again came to Argentina's rescue, equalising 45 seconds from the first quarter after receiving a pass from on the left side.

Just seconds away from the first break of the match, scored again when dragflick specialist Peillat (15t) converted a penalty corner with precision to hand his side the lead for the first time.

Both the teams played with same intensity and pace in the second quarter but failed to find the net.

Five minutes after the change of ends, Spain equalised through Ruiz's (35th) field strike.

The match went on similar lines in the fourth and final quarter with both and Spain pressing hard for more goals to secure three points.

But it were the Argentines who succeeded in their effort when Peillat was again bang on target from another penalty corner in the 49th minute.

Thereafter, Spain dished out all the tricks, including withdrawing their for an four minutes from the final hooter, but failed to breach the Argentina defence.

Argentina will play in their next pool match on December 3, while Spain will be up against

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

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 21:15 IST
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