Investec World League Pool A: Argentina 4-0 Italy.

Two goals from Rocio Sanchez Moccia helped Argentina to secure top spot in the group as they moved through the gears to sweep aside a spirited effort from Italy in their final pool game. Italy went into the game needing to win by two clear goals to snatch top billing in the pool but Argentina’s considerable talent was just too much for the European side. 

Argentina thought they’d opened the scoring early on, Carla Rebecchi’s cross was diverted goal wards by Martina Cavallero who was already celebrating when her shot came back off the post.

Italy responded with a chance of their own as Giuliana Ruggieri showed good strength to drive into the D where she was unfortunate to shoot wide of the post.

Argentina appeared to take the lead as Rosario Luchetti despatched the rebound from a penalty corner but on video referral the goal was downgraded to another penalty corner. Silvina D’Elia shot low but Martina Chirico made a good save and cleared the danger.

Elisabetta Pacella went close as her 3D skills took her round the goalkeeper but D’Elia got back and snuffed out the danger.

Five minutes before the break Argentina took the lead, Luchetti took the shot on early and hit the ball sweetly towards goal, Chirico got a good glove on the ball but could not keep it out.

A minute after the break they doubled their lead, Sanchez Moccia hit another shot goalwards and again Chirico got a glove to the ball and again, she could not prevent it going in.

Argentina were now turning on the style, Noel Barrionuevo crashed a penalty corner onto the crossbar and Luciana Aymar fed Luchetti who was, for once wayward with her finish.

Italy forced a number of penalty corners as they tried to grab a consolation, but their routines were lacking finesse and were easily repelled by the defence.

On 58 minutes they were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal, as Daniela Sruoga crossed for  Gisele Juarez to deflect home.

Las Leonas put a gloss on the scoreline five minutes from time as Sanchez Moccia grabbed her second, latching onto a cross from Cavallero.

Italy finish third in the pool and will play the team who finishes second in Pool B. Argentina secure top spot and, ominously for all the other sides in the competition, are starting to come into their best form as the tournament wears on. They will be a side everyone wants to avoid.

About thetopofthed

Columnist for The Hockey Paper and the man behind The Top of the D. Writer, podcaster, goalkeeper and BBC Sport man. Used to work for Great Britain Hockey and have covered the sport at every major tournament.
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