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Argentina reach field hockey semis for 1st time

June 10, 2014

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Argentina qualified for the field hockey World Cup semifinals for the first time on Tuesday, causing Germany to become the first Olympic champion to miss the semis since 1971.

Argentina beat South Africa 5-1 but it was closer than the scoreboard suggests.

The Argentines led 3-0 and should have cruised home, but suddenly lost three players to yellow cards in five minutes. But South Africa couldn’t make the three-man advantage count, and scored only when Argentina had all its men back.

Then Gonzalo Peillat and Lucas Vila scored their second goals of the match to leave no doubt.

The victory ensured Argentina finished second in the group and lined up Australia on Friday, and left Germany knowing it missed the semis for the first time in 43 years, when it played as West Germany.

The Germans, nevertheless, picked themselves up to hammer South Korea 6-1.

The Netherlands topped the group, but was limited to 1-1 by New Zealand. Valentin Verga scored in the eighth minute for the Dutch but New Zealand then withstood the onslaught, from which it grew in confidence in the second half and leveled through Simon Child seven minutes from time. The Kiwis had the last penalty corner but couldn’t convert. The Dutch will meet England on Friday.

In the women’s tournament, the surprising United States reached the semifinals for the first time in 20 years after beating South Africa 4-2.

Second-half goals from Katie Reinprecht and captain Lauren Crandall, with Rachel Dawson icing the result, ensured the 10th-ranked Americans won their group and will meet Australia on Thursday.

Defending champion Argentina needed to win by five goals to top the U.S. on goal difference in the group but could only draw with China 1-1. Carla Rebecchi hit in a rebound early but without star Luciana Aymar, nursing a hamstring injury on the sidelines, Argentina was wasteful. China equalized 12 minutes from the end, Peng Yang converting China’s only shot on target in the game.

The result dropped Argentina into a semifinal against unbeaten host the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2010 final.

Also, England beat Germany 3-1 but still finished last in the group.

Update hourly