Hockey World Cup 2018: Olympic champions Argentina edge past Spain New Zealand score narrow win over France - SportsGuru

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Hockey World Cup 2018: Olympic champions Argentina edge past Spain New Zealand score narrow win over France

Bhubaneswar: Agustin Mazzilli and Gonzalo Peillat scored a brace each to help Olympic champions Argentina eke out a 4-3 win over Spain, while New Zealand scrapped past France 2-1 in their opening matches of hockey World Cup here Thursday.

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

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.

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

In the day's second Pool A match, New Zealand scored two field goals through Kane Russell 16th and Stephen Jenness 56th to get the better of France.

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

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

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

Spain 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 Lucas Villa on the left side.

Just seconds away from the first break of the match, Argentina 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 Argentina 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.

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