Buenos Aires, 4 Apr (UNI) Germany continued their recent stellar form in the FIH Pro Hockey League with a 3-2 away win over Olympic champions Argentina in Buenos Aires. It was a different story in the women’s match, with Argentina winning on penalties against Germany to take two points from a possible three in Las Leonas’ first competitive game in more than a year, the FIH reported here on Saturday.
The action kicked off in the men’s competition, where a lovely moment from Constantin Staib later in life gave the German men a hard-earned 3-2 win over the hots. The result saw Die Honamas – who are aiming for a fifth consecutive Olympic podium when they take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics rescheduled later this year – move up to third in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, adding three more points from six. which they claimed against the Dutch in Amsterdam last month.
Germany took the lead twice thanks to strikes from Christopher Rühr and debutant Luis Gill, but prolific corner-kicking master Jose Tolini was able to equalize at every opportunity. The decisive moment arrived with only four minutes of the match remaining, with Staib collecting the ball with his back to the net before firing a shot between his own legs and into the bottom left corner of the net.
Germany’s Mats Grambusch, who was named Player of the Match and played a key role in creating Staib’s humiliating winning goal, said: “To be honest, [Best Player] Awards don’t really matter to me. What is important to me is the three points we got today in a very, very difficult game. I’m happy about that. We just arrived four days ago, and with jet lag, being used to winter in Germany and unfamiliar with these temperatures, overall we’re very happy that we had this kind of performance today. “
Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi said: “This is the first game in a long time, so I think it is a difficult game for us, but it is a good feeling to be on the pitch again. We are developing, and tomorrow we hope to improve. our mistake today. “
A CAGGEY AFFAIR: The women’s contest between Argentina and Germany was an astute affair, with both teams struggling to create clear goalscoring opportunities in the opening two periods. The match opened in the third and fourth quarters, with Argentina captain Delfina Merino canceling a goal before Germany’s Nike Lorenz missed a glorious chance to win from the penalty spot late on.
A 0-0 draw ensures that both teams will take one point from the contest, but the hosts will steal the bonus points. Merino scored the decisive goal, but debutant goalkeeper Clara Baberi – who replaced regular Belen Succi on penalties – proved invaluable. Baberi conceded just two of Germany’s five attempts, setting things up perfectly for the very experienced Merino to seal the extra points as Las Leonas cemented their grip on second place in the FIH Pro Hockey League standings.
“It was a tough match,” said Julieta Jankunas of Argentina, named Player of the Match. “We are very happy we won. Germany are a very good team, so we saved two points and are now waiting for tomorrow to win again.”
Nike Lorenz from Germany said: “I think we definitely have to get more results in the circle. Our defense is very good, I think, so we need to keep working like that and only score a few goals.”
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