Bottom placed Argentina scored their first win of the tournament, edging past New Zealand with a solitary goal in their penultimate Pool A match of the Hero Honda Hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Sunday .Facundo Callioni scored the all-important goal in the 55th minute of the match for Argentina, who are already out of semifinal race after losing their first three matches.
New Zealand, who have six points from four matches, will have to beat defending champions Germany in their last match on March 9 for any hopes of qualifying for the semifinals. Both sides could create very few scoring chances in the first half though Argentina were slightly better in ball possession.
In the 25th minute, Argentine Matias Enrique Paredes got a chance from very close range, but his shot was blocked by the Kiwi goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex and Lucas Martin Vila missed the rebound. New Zealand could have taken lead in the 32nd minute but for Ryan Archibald wasted a penalty stroke.
From his side's first and only penalty corner of the first half New Zealand defender Andrew Hayward earned a penalty stroke but Archibald's effort was saved by Argentine goalkeeper Juan Tomas Espinosa who dived to his right. The second half saw all out attack from both sides to get a goal which did not happen till the 55th minute.
Argentina forced three penalty corners -- out of four in the match -- in the second half but could not score. Facundo Callioni scored the only goal of the match after he deflected a cross from Pedro Ibarra from the right. New Zealand made last-ditched efforts but failed to find the equaliser. PTI