Argentina beat Pakistan 3-1 in Champions Challenge Cup
SALTA: Pakistan failed to break the winning jinx of Argentina as the hosts beat them 3-1 in Champions Challenge Cup hockey tournament and dented their chances for a semi final qualification here at Popeye baseball club.
Pakistan are now in a must win situation as they will be playing South Africa on December 10.
Argentina which routed South Africa 6-2 has qualified for the semi finals. It was Pakistanĺs third successive defeat at the hands of Argentina in international hockey. The South American country beat them 1-0 in the World Cup in 2006 in Germany, followed by 2-1 win in 2007 in Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
The home team jolted the former world champions with the first minute goal scored by Facundo Callioni fed by a clean right side cross by Enrique Matias before a defender beat the entire Pakistani side with a long scoop in a front of a full house under cloudy conditions.
The Argentinean side folded the first half with 2-1 lead in the 31st minute, enhancing Pak teamĺs worries , converting their first short corner through their penalty corner specialists Pedro Ibarra who scored two goals in a row to make things difficult for his opponents.
As Pakistani forward exhibited missing in action ,their penalty corner expert,Sohail Abbas also appeared out of touch and converted just a lone short corner ,out of five of the play which was another factor which contributed to green shirts defeat.
In 52nd minute, Pakistani side received another blow when home team made it 3-0 and it was all over for a possible come back for Pak team. Pedro Ibarra scored in an indirect conversion drill in the 52nd minutes.
In other matches of the day India bt China 4-1, New Zealand bt Belgium 4-1 and South Africa beat Canada 3-1. With two defeats in a row China is out of semi final contention and from Kiwis, Belgium and South Africa one will move to the semi finals after another round of pool matches.