Argentina- Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2008 winners

7th in 2006

5th in 2007

1st in 2008

The three lines above reflect the performance of the Argentine hockey team in the three times they have participated in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. For most fans and coach Carlos Retegui, it is the last line that they will cherish for years to come- Argentina beat India 2-1 in a keenly contested final to take home their first Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Both the Argentine goals came through Mario Almada, while Sandeep Singh netted for the Indians.

Sandeep Singh’s ninth goal of the tournament gave India the lead in the eleventh minute. The goal came from a penalty corner, which had been given after Shivendra Singh and SV Sunil attacked Argentina on the counter.  But Argentina, who had earlier beaten India 5-1 in the group stage, responded through Almada four minutes later to level the score at 1-1.

Just before the second half, tempers rose when an Argentine player was pushed on top of the D. Umpire Ged Curran had to step in to defuse the situation, and he had a word with both the skippers.

India earned two penalty corners in the second half, but Singh was unable to convert either of them. In the 65th minute, Gilardi missed what should have easily found the back of the net, and the game went to extra time. The Canada Belgium game earlier in the day had also gone into extra time.

And it was Almada again who rose to the occasion. He deflected Juan Ignacio Gilardi’s free hit into the Indian goal to score the winner as the Argentine fans celebrated.

Sandeep Singh however finished as the top scorer of the tournament.

Argentina 2-1 India ( Mario Almada *2,/ Sandeep Singh)

Final Standings

1.) Argentina

2.) India

3.) New Zealand

4.) Pakistan

5.) Canada

6.) Belgium

7.) Malaysia

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