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Rediff.com  » Sports » Argentina claim last hockey World Cup berth

Argentina claim last hockey World Cup berth

November 23, 2009 19:13 IST

Argentina claimed the last spot available for next year's Hero Honda FIH Hockey World Cup in Delhi, from February 28 to March 13, when they beat Belgium 4-3 in the final of the last qualifying tournament in Quilmes.

The hosts fought back from two goals down to win the BDO Hockey World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

Belgium took control of the match after Cedric Charlier sunk a field goal in the 14th minute and Jeffrey Thys added another ten minutes later.

Two goals up at the end of the first half, it looked like they would emerge easy winners, but Argentina fought back magnificently.

Pedro Ibarra scored from a penalty-corner just after the break to cut Belgium's lead, only to see Jerome Dekeyser re-establish the two-goal lead ten minutes later.

A penalty-stroke awarded to Argentina five minutes later however turned the tide, Pedro Ibarra displaying the same reliability as ever, which eventually made him the top-scorer in the competition.

Fuelled by the goal, Argentina attacked continuously and got the equalizer a few minutes later from a field goal through Lucas Villa, in the 57th minute.

With the scores level, it was a battle royal between the two top teams in this competition, but to the joy of the full house at Quilmes stadium, it was the Argentine team who clinched the issue when Mario Almada scored from a field goal eight minutes from the end.

Argentina thus took the gold medal in the tournament, while Belgium took silver. Ireland ended up with bronze, ahead of the Czech Republic, the United States and Chile.

Argentina won the fair play award, while Pedro Ibarra of Argentina was the tournament's top-scorer. Filip Neusser of the Czech Republic was adjudged best goalkeeper and Felix Denayer best player.

The following teams have qualified for the Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010:

India (Host)

Canada (Champion of the 3rd Men's Pan American Cup)

Korea (Champion of the 8th Men's Asia Cup)

South Africa (Champion of the Africa Cup of Nations, 2009)

Australia (Champion of the 6th Men's Oceania Cup)

England (Champion of the 12th Men's EuroHockey Nations Championship)

Germany (Silver medalist of the 12th Men's EuroHockey Nations Championship)

Netherlands (Bronze medalist of the 12th Men's EuroHockey Nations Championship)

Spain (Fourth ranked team of the 12th Men's EuroHockey Nations Championship)

Pakistan (Winner of the Men's World Cup Qualification Tournament - No. 1)

New Zealand (Winner of the Men's World Cup Qualification Tournament - No. 2)

Argentina (Winner of the Men's World Cup Qualification Tournament - No. 3)

The FIH will release the pools and match schedule at the completion of the BDO Champions Challenge I in Salta, Argentina (December 6-13, 2009) immediately when the ABN AMRO World Rankings are updated.