World Cup 2014: Day Ten Round-Up.

Plenty of goals around on day ten of the Rabobank World Cup. Argentina’s men secured their first ever World Cup semi-final and England’s Women notched their first win. A round-up of all the games is here. 

Men’s Pool B: Argentina 5-1 South Africa.
Argentina secured a first ever World Cup semi-final slot with a thumping 5-1 win over South Africa ensuring coach Carlos Retegui remains firmly in contention for an historic double. Los Leones mustered eight shots on target but such is their purple patch in front of goal right now, they were able to score from five of them.

Joaquin Menini gave Retegui’s side the lead on 20 minutes and three minutes later Gonzalo Pelliat, the tournament’s red-hot marksman netted a penalty corner, although Rassie Pieterse was unlucky not to keep it out.

Lucas Villa scored a wonderful solo goal 14 minutes after the break to all but wrap up the win but then Argentina decided to press the self-destruct button. Juan Lopez, Manuel Brunet and Matias Paredes were all sent o the sin-bin in quick succession, leaving Argentina with eight men on the pitch. Somehow, Argentina held off Fabian Gregory’s side, despite their numerical handicap.

In an odd turn, South Africa did pull a goal back but only when it was back to 11v11, Clinton Panther, who has to be a contender for best name of the World Cup, smashed home a strike to cut the arrears.

Pelliat netted his second and then Vila also completed a brace with another breath-taking solo effort and it was all over. Argentina will move into the semi-finals brimming with confidence as they aim to make history by reaching their first World Cup final.

Men’s Pool B: Germany 6-1 Korea.
Germany have missed out on a World Cup semi-final spot for the first time in 43 years but they still showed the world what they can do with a 6-1 thrashing of Korea. It took the Germans a while to get going but Christopher Wesley gave them the lead just before the 20 minute mark and then three minute later Benedikt Furk made it 2-0 before a splendid reverse stick strike from Martin Zwicker gave them a commanding 3-0 lead.

Christopher Ruhr hit the post in the second half and not long after Nam Hyunwoo reduced the arrears from a penalty corner. Florian Fuchs netted to make it 4-1 and then Oliver Korn produced a lovely finish with five minutes to go. Christopher Zeller produced one of his trademark penalty corner goals on the final whistle to send Germany, most likely, into the 5th-6ht playoff game with Belgium.

Women’s Pool B: USA 4-2 South Africa.
The headline story of the tournament continues apace as Craig Parnham’s USA picked up another win, this time seeing of South Africa 4-2.

South Africa started brightly but could not convert their dominance into goals and soon the USA made Giles Bonnet’s side pay for the profligacy. With 35 minutes on the clock Caroline Nichols produced another effective penalty corner but it was stopped on the line by a South African foot. A penalty stroke was awarded which Nichols took herself and scored.

A minute after the re-start South Africa levelled the scores. Captain Marsh Cox applied the finish after Dirkie Chamberlain and Sulette Damons combined. The USA went again and Nichols picked out Katie Reinprecht from another superbly executed penalty corner. Lauren Crandall netted a penalty stroke to give her side a two-goal cushion but then Chamberlain reduced the arrears in the 47th minute.

Rachel Dawson showed the USA have some power from the top of the D on their penalty corners, too and she made it 4-2 with a well taken drag flick.

The USA will now go up against Australia in the semi-final.

Women’s Pool B: Germany 1-3 England.
Full match report here.

Women’s Pool B: Argentina 1-1 China.
A 1-1 draw in this match landed Las Leonas the semi-final clash that many wanted to be the final as Carlos Retegui’s team will go up against the Dutch. It is an incredible achievement for the coach who is coaching both men’s and women’s sides in World Cup semi-finals in the same week but he will have his work cut out to overcome the hosts.
With the USA’s result confirmed, Las Leonas knew they had to overcome the Stars and Stripes’ goal difference but were met with a typically stubborn Chinese side. Carla Rebecchi gave the Argentines the lead in the first half, slotting in from close range after a rebound off the goalkeeper but further chances and further goals proved elusive.

Peng Yang levelled the scores with time ticking down on the clock towards the final whistle. Yang beat Belen Succi with a splendid reverse stick effort to ensure Argentina finished second in the pool, setting up that mouth-watering clash with Holland.

Men’s Pool B: New Zealand 1-1 Netherlands.
Simon Child’s strike seven minutes from time left the home crowd disappointed as the hosts had to settle for a draw for the first time in the tournament. New Zealand set up to defend tightly and to frustrate their opponents and despite falling behind to an early strike from Valentin Verga they did a good job of that. The goal by Verga was a rare lapse as the Dutch star was afforded all the time and space he wanted inside the D to bring the ball under control, turn and beat the goalkeeper.

Despite New Zealand’s defensive efforts they also created some chances of their own. Jaap Stockmann had to be alert to keep out a penalty corner from Andy Hayward as well as pulling off a couple of other excellent stops. He could do nothing to stop Child scoring with seven minutes left, however as the Blacksticks’ man hit a powerful strike into the net beyond the startled goalkeeper to secure a point.

The Dutch will now face England in the semi-finals, whilst New Zealand battle Spain for 7th/8th place.


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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