#4 Argentina vs Spain (Pool A encounter)
FIH master-coach Siegfried Aikman who was at Bhubaneswar witnessed the all-Hispanic classic from the stands and analyzed the encounter in his unique and inimitable style.
"I noticed a different style of defending - Spain using old-fashioned flat triangle man-to-man defence, and Argentina, in front-marking man-to-man defence. Argentina used more vertical passes to speed up the game."
"Spain played with 3 deep forwards but because they hardly use vertical passes, they couldn't reach them. One of their first vertical passes created a goal."
"From the Argentine defence, Peillat has lots of trouble defending in front. With one player more, Spain was unable to play a decent power play - they hardly kept the pitch stretched or used the width - due to that, Argentina could survive easily."
"Both teams did not utilize pressure on the defence in case of a turnover in the D - they allowed the opponent to escape."
Brilliant analysis indeed - but one does not necessarily have to possess the acumen of the master strategist, Aikman, to appreciate the fantastic encounter that captured the imagination of everyone who had the good fortune to witness it.
Enrique Gonzalez gave the Red Sticks an early lead in the third minute of play but Agustin Mazzilli put the Argentinians back on level terms in a matter of seconds.
Just before the end of the first quarter, Josep Romeu put the Spaniards ahead yet again.
All eyes were on Pau Quemada, but the ace drag-flicker stepped aside, foxing the Argentine runners, and allowed Romeu to score. Yet again, Mazzilli restored parity for the Olympic champions in no time.
Gonzalo Peillat scored off a PC to put Argentina ahead at the end of the first quarter - five goals had been scored in the space of fifteen minutes from just as many shots on target.
German Orozco's side finally prevailed with a scoreline that read 4-3 with Peillat scoring the decider in the 49th minute after Vicenc Ruiz had levelled things up for Spain just after half-time.
The Spanish had one last chance to earn a creditable draw but Enrique Gonzalez failed to control the ball in the striking circle in the very last minute to end the absolute humdinger on the losing side.Published 20 Dec 2018, 09:42 IST