Argentina beat New Zealand 2-1, qualify for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final

One of the two finalists for the 17th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup have been determined- Argentina. The South Americans continued their impressive run in Ipoh as they beat New Zealand 2-1 to secure their fourth win in the tournament. This is the first time in three Azlan Shah tournaments that they have made it to the final. In their debut tournament in 2006, they finished seventh ( eight teams participated). Last year, they finished fifth by beating Pakistan in the playoff for fifth/sixth positions.

It was sweet revenge for Argentina, whose hopes of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics were dashed by the Kiwis in Auckland in February. They had beaten the Kiwis 3-2 in the preliminary round, but lost 2-3 in the final.

All three goals came in the first half. Martin Lopez opened the scoring for Argentina in the ninth minute. Juan Ignacio Gilardi doubled Argentina’s lead in the seventeenth minute. Benjamin Collier pulled one back for New Zealand in the 27th minute.

Argentina are certainly capable of lifting the trophy come Sunday, if their recent form is anything to go by. Given that they will face stiffer competition in the Champions Trophy in the Netherlands next month, winning here will give the side a huge morale boost.

Argentina 2-1 New Zealand ( Martin Lopez, Juan Ignacio Gilardi/ Benjamin Collier)

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