Hockey WC: NZ, Argentina win

Bhubaneswar, Nov 29 (IANS) | Publish Date: 11/29/2018 11:17:04 AM IST

New Zealand pipped France 2-1 in its opening game of the Hockey World Cup 2018 at the Kalinga stadium here on Thursday.

After a goalless first quarter, Kane Russell scored for New Zealand in the 17th minute and as France failed to convert opportunities in the later part of the second quarter, the Kiwis enjoyed a 1-0 lead at half-time.

Later, a long pass from midfield was well controlled by Stephen Jenness, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net, making the scoreline read 2-0 in New Zealand’s favour with just four minutes of play left.

It seemed France wouldn’t be able to open its account but Victor Charlet converted a penalty corner in the 59th minute to make the score 2-1.

Earlier, Gonzalo Peillat and Agustin Mazzilli guided Argentina to a 4-3 win against Spain.

Enrique Gonzalez handed Spain an early 1-0 lead in the 3rd minute of the game before Mazzilli deflected a right wing cross perfectly to the net in the next minute to level the score.

Spain took a 2-1 lead after Josep Romeu found the back of the net in the 14th minute however, within 45 seconds of conceding the second goal, Argentina replied back as Mazzilli struck again, levelling the contest at 2-2.

Soon, the South American nation extended the lead to 3-2 as drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat converted a corner in the 15th minute.

However, Vincenc Ruiz brought Spain back into the contest after a field goal in the 35th minute as the scorecard was once again tied at 3-3.

In the 49th minute, Peillat scored again and Argentina clinched the nail-biting contest 4-3.

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