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Argentina upset New Zealand

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, March 7 (IANS) - Facundo Callioni's fine second-half strike led Argentina to a shock 1-0 win over New Zealand and made the Black Sticks' chances of making to the semifinal difficult in the Hockey World Cup here today.

Argentina, the lowest-ranked side in the World Cup, struck the winner as Callioni (55th minute) showed fine opportunism to connect an incisive cross from Pedro Ibarra into the far corner of the net, stunning the rival defenders, at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

The goalless first half of the slow-paced match saw the New Zealanders create more chances but failed to convert any, including a penalty stroke, in the face of a resolute Argentine defence.

With veteran Ryan Archibald spearheading their moves, New Zealand came close to scoring twice in the first half-an-hour, but Callioni and Blair Hilton muffed the opportunities.

Soon after, New Zealand got their first penalty corner, and it led to a stroke as Argentina's Fernando Oscar Zylberbergafter got the the drag flick on his foot.

Archibald's stroke could not beat the Argentine goalkeeper Juan Thomas Espinosa, who padded it away to the relief of his teammates.

After the defeat, New Zealand remained on six points from four matches, to fall behind The Netherlands, Germany and Korea in Pool A.

After three consecutive defeats, Argentina picked up full three points to be in the fifth position. Canada is the only team in the Pool without any points.

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