Argentina overpower Belgium 4-2 to win their first ever Olympic Hockey Gold

By: Harpal Singh Bedi
Updated: 19 Aug 2016 08:13 AM
RIO DE JANEIRO: Playing an all out attacking game, Argentina trounced Belgium 4-2 to win the gold and emerge the new Olympic Men’s hockey champion Deodoro Centre.

2012 London Games winners Germany, took the bronze medal overpowering the Netherlands in a penalty shootout victory.

Argentina’ became the first Pan American hockey team, either men or women, to win an Olympic title at what is, rather fittingly, the first Olympic Games to be held in South America.

Argentina, who lost only one match in the league at the hands of India, dominated the final as Belgium struggled to match the pace of their rivals.

There was little to chose between Argentina’s Los Leones and Belgium’s Red Lions as the action opened but soon the Los Leones made their intentions clear that they have come with a well thought out plan to record their historic Olympic win.

Captain Pedro Ibarra, Ignacio Ortiz, Gonzalo Peillat and Agustin Mazzilli scored a goal each for the winners. For the losers Tanguy Cosyns and Gauthier Boccard scored a goal each .

It was Belgium who surged ahead in the final in the third minute when Tanguy Cosyns deflected home before Argentina captain Pedro Ibarra levelled matters with a well-executed penalty corner routine in the 12th minute.

Argentina then played with such a scorching pace that Belgium defenders found it hard to ward off repeated attacks from all sides.

Los Leones scored either side of the quarter-time break, with Ignacio Ortiz netting a field goal ahead of a trademark penalty corner from Gonzalo Peillat to go up 3-1.

After being under pressure for considerable time, Belgium retaliated and reduced the margin through Gauthier Boccard who score a beautiful goal at the end of the third quarter (2-3).Rio olympic g

With 15 minutes remaining, Belgians rallied back strongly putting up intense pressure in search of an equalizer,. However the impressive Argentina backline held firm foiling all the attempt.

The Argentineans countered and that led to the fourth goal. . Agustin Mazzilli was the scorer, rolling the ball into an empty net after intercepting a loose pass from a Belgian team that had replaced goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch with an outfield player and that sealed the match .

It was also another remarkable chapter in the career of Head Coach Carlos Retegui, also affectionately known as ‘Chapa’, has also guided Argentina’s women to World Cup glory in 2010 and Olympic silver in 2012, before completing a stunning double by coaching both Las Leonas and Los Leones to bronze medals at the Hockey World Cup in 2014.