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Spain push Argentina from the top
25 Jun 2008 21:09
 

© FIH / Dr. Wolfgang Sternberger

In the only match of today, here at the Champions Trophy in Rotterdam, Spain defeated Argentina 2-1 to claim the top in the standings.

Spain defeat Argentina 2:1 (1:1)

With the fourth round of matches spread out over two days, Argentina and Spain were the only teams to take to the field today, and with a narrow victory, Spain took over the top of the table from the South Americans.

In a relatively slow paced first half, with play confined to the midfield for long stretches of time, Argentina soon went ahead with Facundo Callioni's first ever Champions Trophy goal. Callioni controlled a long scoop from the back well to launch a shot that was saved by Quico Cortes, but he made no mistake on the rebound, slapping the ball past the Spanish goalkeeper on the second try.

Ten minutes later, Spain broke an Argentinean shutout lasting almost 150 minutes when a free hit saw the ball slip through the crowded circle to meet a diving Santi Freixa who swept it into the roof of the goal. With the score deadlocked, both teams tried for chances but without much conviction, and they went into halftime tied at one all.

A penalty corner shortly after the break gave Spain the lead and Santi Freixa his second goal of the day with a dragflick to the bottom right corner. Freixa also became Spain's topscorer in the competition with 28 Champions Trophy goal, surpassing Xavi Arnau's previous record of 27.

In the remaining 25 minutes, play moved back and forth, while chances were few and far between. Spain had advantages, holding the bigger part of ball possession and being able to create more and more dangerous opportunities. The Iberians were not able to capitalize on their superiority, but neither could the Argentineans level the scores, so that the match ended with the 2-1 win for Spain that takes the team of Maurits Hendriks to the top of the standings, ahead of Argentina on goal difference.

Both teams have played one match more than all others however which spells changes in the table tomorrow when Germany take on Australia and the Netherlands play Korea.

For more information on the tournament, including action photos, live commentary from ongoing matches and previews for upcoming matches, please visit the dedicated tournament site.


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