FIH Pro League 2020: Olympic champions Argentina avenges first game defeat to win 5-1 against Spain

Olympic champions Argentina asserted its supremacy by avenging the first game defeat against visiting Spain in the FIH Pro League 2020 on Saturday. Argentina won 5-1 to take maximum three points from the second game that became sloppy and rought at the end .

Player of the Match Lucas Martinez (ARG) said: “The difference [between today and yesterday] was that today we were in good form, we played really good during the game, so we are happy to get the three points today. The next step for us will be next week against the Netherlands, which of course will be a really tough game, as is usual in the international games. We should get better on the defence and some structure in attack and penalty corners to try to beat the Netherlands.”

Pau Quemada (ESP) said: “We need to keep on improving. We knew that the second game would be tough, mostly because of the effort we made yesterday, but they were marvellous so we need to keep on going.”

Argentina got its fifth goal less than a minute into the final quarter, and it was second for Lucas Martinez, whose speculative push-shot somehow squeezed through the legs of Spain goalkeeper Mario Garin and into the net.

Three Argentina goals in the third quarter have put the hosts on the brink of victory. Shortly after Spain was temporarily reduced to ten players in the 42nd minute when Marc Miralles got a green card two minute suspension, Argentina opened up what was surely an unassailable lead. Lucas Martinez is in the right place at the right time to deflect home from close range, taking the score to 4-1 in favour of the hosts.

Despite being down to ten players, Argentina established a two-goal cushion over Spain for the first time over the course of these two matches. In the 37th minute, Jose Tolini was the scorer, slamming a penalty corner drag-flick between two onrushing Spanish defenders and into the net A goal right at the start of this third quarter puts Argentina back in front. Lucas Vila is the scorer, producing an instinctive volley from close range after the ball had looped up over the head of Spanish goalkeeper Mario Garin.

Argentina got a penalty corner in the 25th minute, but the drag-flick from the top failed to test the Spanish defence, travelling well wide of the left post. Another penalty corner for Spain in the 22nd minute, and this time Spain make no mistake. Pau Quemada stepped up to unleash another stunning drag-flick that left Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi off-balance and totally unable to react. Parity restored.

In the 21st minute, Spain won a penalty corner. Juan Vivaldi brought off two brilliant saves. Argentina’s Nicolas Cicileo was given a green card two minute suspension early in this quarter, but returned to the field with the score unchanged.

Argentina won a penalty corner ion the 13th minute and opt for the drag-flick, with Spain goalkeeper Mario Garin diving to his left to palm away the effort from Jose Tolini.Spain looked for an immediate response and forced Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi into action, but the 40-year-old easily dealt with the situation to keep his team ahead.

Argentina made the first mark on the score-board, with 22-year-old Martin Ferreiro rattling the backboard with a thumping strike from the right, picking out the bottom left corner. Spain goalkeeper Mario Garin had little hope of saving that effort.

Argentina had the first chance of the game with Maico Casella going close, but his deflection sailed wide of the target. Casella scored two of Argentina’s goals in Saturday’s meeting between the two teams.

Spain’s Red Sticks that claimed a 4-3 win over Olympic champions Argentina in yesterday’s encounter, with Pau Quemada scoring a late winner with an unstoppable penalty corner drag-flick. Los Leones were determined to make amends and they did with a fluent 5-1 win.

-PTC News