The Argentine women’s hockey team beat Germany 3-0 and qualified for the semifinals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The winner of the clash between India and Australia will be Las Leonas’ rival in the match that will put them in the fight for the gold medal.
Argentina got off to a good start, pressing up and, as that tactic worked for them, they kept it up for most of the first quarter. The idea was simple: seek to recover the ball as quickly as possible through the defenders and the shuttlecocks to get out quickly towards the opposing circle.
Thus, when Alonso pressed and removed the ball, Trinchinetti changed the rhythm and gave it to Victoria Granatto, who found her sister María José in the area. The half-lap from the lead found Sonntag well stopped, who rejected the danger. It was a warning. It was the first. It was a sign from Argentina. That Germany ran towards the ball was the watchword. And so, at 7 minutes, the first penalty corner came but they blocked Raposo’s attempt. The numbers were eloquent at that point: Argentina had 70 percent of the ball’s possession against a team that stands out precisely for its possession.
Once again, an excellent move by María José Granatto, who sought the foot of a German woman in the area, gave the team a new short. But again there was no effectiveness in the fixed. The opponent had his chance with a short forced by Altenburg against Raposo, but Trinchinetti was quick to reach the block.
It was all for the national team. Everything except effectiveness. As had happened in the losses to New Zealand and Australia, Argentina failed a lot in the concretion of the plays. Already in the second quarter there was a very clear Albertarrio after the ball hit the post against a disoriented Sonntag; Merino immediately missed the final touch against the goalkeeper; then it was Micaela Retegui who failed to connect a great Victoria Granatto center from the right. With all that it generated, the selected one deserved much more.
And that merit translated into the long-awaited goal. Incredibly Sánchez Moccia entered very alone from the left, sent the center and Agustina Albertarrio, at 27 minutes, made it 1-0. The good thing was that the National Team did not stay. And it was for more. And just 120 seconds later Toccalino “invented” a huge play on the right and forced a new short. Gorzelany’s drag found the diversion of Victoria Granatto. Goal and 2-0. But the best thing was that Argentina rounded off an almost impeccable first half with that goal, offering their best hockey in Tokyo 2020.
In the third quarter Argentina took their foot off the gas and the game became more even, with Germany standing a little further ahead and improving their percentage in ball possession because, in addition, the result forced them to do so. Although, anyway, there was always the feeling that the national team was more. María José Granatto had it, who did “magic” in the circle but the shot over Sonntag was barely deflected. Germany was also close when Succi thwarted Lorenz’s excellent drag.
In the last quarter, Jankunas had it backhand against a remarkable move by Alonso. Another fixed play, marked in minute 52 by the young woman Valentina Raposo, ended the mystery and Argentina put the final 3-0. Minutes before the end, Succi responded again in the same play three times. The huge Argentine archer frustrated him at the end the discount to Germany.
Argentina, in short, played a great game. And spread a huge illusion. Big like the heart of the Lionesses. Giant as the game that the Lionesses re-exhibited on an unforgettable Tokyo morning.
Argentina formed with Belén Succi; Valentina Raposo, Agustina Gorzelany, Noel Barrionuevo; Eugenia Trinchinetti, Agostina Alonso, Victoria Sauze, Sofía Toccalino; Rocío Sánchez Moccia, Julieta Jankunas and Delfina Merino. They entered: Valentina Costa Biondi, Agustina Albertarrio, María José Granatto, María Victoria Granatto and Micaela Retegui.
Argentina plays the winner between Australia and India, who star in the second quarter-final clash, which begins at 00.00hs on Monday, August 2.
Later, from 6.30am, the Netherlands face New Zealand and the last place for semis is defined between Spain and Great Britain, from 9.00am.
The semifinals will be played between Tuesday 3 and Thursday 4. The final will be on Friday 6th at 7:00 am and the match for third place will be played at 10:30 pm on Thursday 5th.
The Lionesses were classified in the round in the third position of group B with 9 points -Loss 3-0 against New Zealand, 3-0 win against Spain, 3-2 victory against China, beat Japan 2-1 and 2-0 defeat against Australia. Australia and Spain surpassed them in the standings with 15 and 9 points, respectively, and were ahead of New Zealand (6 points).