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Argentina and Netherlands book rematch
28 Jan 2006 17:35

By Graciela H. Ortiz

Argentina 2 drew Netherlands 2
Argentina and Netherlands drew 2-2 in the final preliminary match on Friday night to set up a rematch in the final of the four nation tournament in Cordoba.

The world's number one and two teams will face off in the tournament decider, with, England and Australia vying for the bronze medal; both matches to be screened live on ESPN+.

Argentina presented some changes in their line up for their clash with the Dutch, as Soledad Garcia and Mariana Gonzalez Oliva were sidelined, while Belen Succi replaced goalkeeper Paola Vukojicic.

An even first half was contested with good scoring chances by both sides. However, Argentina's attacks lacked depth and their only opportunities came from penalty corners, the best of which was saved in the 14th minute after shots by Natali Doreski and Maria de la Paz Hernandez were repelled by Netherlands custodian Floortje Engels.

Immediately, another shot from a long corner by Alejandra Gulla was also stopped by the Dutch keeper.

From that point, the Netherlands started to gradually assert their authority, pushing the local side towards their back line.

Then, Argentine goalkeeper Succi sparkled, saving her goal several times. However she could not prevent a powerful penalty corner shot from Minke Booij for a 1-0 Dutch lead in the 30th minute.

The Netherlands maintained their rhythm in the first 15 minutes of the second half, with Sylvia Karres increasing the gap in the 53rd minute.

Momentum swung when Booij was forced from the pitch with a cut to her face.

From then on, Argentina reacted and pushed their rivals to take of some imprecision by the Dutch in defence.

Argentina captain Magdalena Aicega closed the gap in the 55th minute from a penalty corner and six minutes later Gulla equalised after a series of rebounds.

Australia 2 drew England 2
Australia and England drew 2-2 in the first match of the day. It was an important match with both teams a chance of reaching the final with a victory and if the Netherlands were beaten by Argentina.

England started better and opened the score in the 20th minute through captain Kate Walsh’s penalty corner.

Australia improved step by step after the goal to equalise seven minutes later with Sarah Taylor latching onto a defensive rebound.

The Australians increased their lead thanks to a tough pressure by Madonna Blyth, three minutes before half-time.

Australia kept the pace after the break, producing a good scoring chanc, from a penalty corner by outstanding Angie Skirving, which was just wide in the 53rd minute.

However, and in spite of Australia's dominance, a series of penalty corners earned by England allowed them to equalise. There were just three minutes remaining when Alex Danson deflected a penalty corner for the 2-2 draw.

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