Los Leones tame Three Lions, set date with India

Bhubaneswar, Dec 7: Rio Olympic champions Argentina put up a splendid show to set up semifinal date with hosts India as the Los Leones defeated England 3-2 in the third quarterfinal of the Men’s Hockey World League Finals (HWLF) at the Kalinga Stadium here, Thursday.

Lucas Vila (21st), Matias Paredes (29th) and Juan Gilardi (34th) scored for the winners whereas David Condon (30th) and Jake Gall (60th) were on target for England.

After a dull first quarter, the second quarter turned into an exciting one where three goals were scored in the second quarter – two by Argentines and one by England.

Vila, who made his 200th appearance for his country, struck a powerful shot into the net in the 21st minute leaving the English defence in complete shock.

Before England could recover from a goal deficit, Argentina skipper Matias Paredes, from an assist of Ignacio Ortiz, doubled the lead eight minutes later. However, the English men reacted strongly reducing the deficit to one goal within a minute through David Condon.

But Argentines were in no mood to give England any chance of a fightback. The World No.1 side made the scoreline 3-1 in the 34th minute when Gilardi converted a penalty stroke, resulting from a harsh foul by the English defenders on Gonzalo Peillat inside the ‘D’.

The match could have been a different affair had England converted three penalty corners they got in final four minutes, thanks to Juan Vivaldi who rose to the occasion all the three times to deny the English.

Jake Gall got a late consolation for England in the final minute.  But the fate was already decided by then for Three Lions.

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