In the last match of the semifinal stage of the World League, the Lions fell to the European team by a convincing 6 to 1 . In London, those led by Carlos Retegui advanced to the final stage of the contest that will be played in India in December and also achieved the classification for the 2018 World Cup.
After having successfully raffled off the group stage in the first place, Argentina arrived to the last match in an unbeaten way where Holland, fourth in the world ranking and who had also shown a good performance in the preliminary stage. The decisive crossing promised dynamic and above all a trial by fire for the Olympic champions, facing a rival of hierarchy.
Holland was strong from the start, with a marked offensive attitude and specifying two goals in the first quarter. Valentín Verga, the Argentine nationalized Dutch player, shot Juan Manuel Vivaldi in just four minutes of play and reappeared at 14 with a surprise detour, after being assisted by the youthful Jorrit Croon.
In a game that in the previous presumed to be more even, the European team was consolidating the dominance of the ball and becoming strong in the defensive aspect, closing all roads to the Argentines, who did not get any short corners in favor during the 60 minutes .
Although in the second quarter, Argentina sought to return to being a protagonist -like in their previous presentations- with good recoveries in the midfield, the inaccuracy in the passes cost them dearly. Holland did not spare and was lethal in the semicircle defended by Vivaldi, who despite having an outstanding performance, was overtaken by the Dutch forward. Thijs Van Dam, with a push to the net, scored the 3 to 0 partial with which both teams went to the break.
In the complement, those directed by Maximiliano Caldas were implacable. In just two minutes, Robbert Kemperman of half-turn and Mirco Pruijser, with a crossed backhand, stretched the difference in a game in which Holland was far superior, scoring the sixth through Thierry Brinkman.
Anyway, Argentina never lost the attitude and looked for with insistence the discount that finally arrived on the closing of the party and through Matías Paredes.
Despite the defeat, the balance of the Lions after his visit to London is more than positive if we take into account that the team materialized the two objectives proposed for the season: securing the qualification to the 2018 World Cup and advancing to the stage final of the third edition of the World League that will take place in India, from December 1 to 10 of this year.
Over the goals achieved by team, Gonzalo Peillat finished as the tournament’s top scorer, with 12 touchdowns, all from short corners. In addition, the Argentine defender was distinguished for being the best player reaffirming his good present and a promising future with only 24 years.
After the game, Matías Paredes, one of the most experienced of the Albiceleste team, analyzed: “We had a good tournament because the goals were achieved, but nobody likes to lose a final and we will have to make a self-criticism. very high and a 6 to 1 against, in a final, it is too much, we know the things we did well, so we will have to focus on the mistakes in order to improve . “
“We knew it was going to be a complicated match , “ Retegui said. “We came very tired, it was a very long tour and the mind has to be worked on, I am very happy and proud of the performance of the team that had a tournament preview in which we suffered, but we strengthened to get the final . “
Players and coaching staff will return to the country on Tuesday, June 27, at 8.15 am (Ezeiza).
Argentina formed with Juan Manuel Vivaldi; Gonzalo Peillat, Pedro Ibarra, Agustín Bugallo; Agustín Mazzilli, Manuel Brunet, Ignacio Ortiz, Juan Martín López, Facundo Callioni, Lucas Vila and Matías Paredes. Then they entered: Joaquín Menini, Diego Paz, Maico Casella and Lucas Rey.