It was a memorable day of FIH Hockey Pro League action for the national teams of Germany, who both recorded victories against Argentina in the second of their respective double headers against the South American giants in Buenos Aires.
Germany men completed an impressive double over reigning Olympic champions Argentina, running out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Christopher Rühr, Martin Zwicker and Constantin Staib in a fiery encounter. Adding to Saturday’s 3-2 win over Los Leones, Sunday’s result ensured that Die Honamas claimed a maximum six points away from home for the second time in succession, following last month’s double victory claimed over the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
The victory sees Germany move up to second in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, 13 points behind leaders Belgium but with five games in hand over the world champions.
“It was a very hard-fought game against Argentina, who are very good, very physical,” said Player of the Match Christopher Rühr. “It is always tough to play against them. We tried to be physical as well, and emotional and keep that up against them. I think we did that really well yesterday and today. We are really, really happy with six points.”
Argentina’s Nicolas Keenan said: “Apart from the result, we are happy to be back after one year. Even in the negative points, we can take something positive from those. We are just three months from the Olympic Games so we are happy to be back. We did a lot of negative things, but in this moment, it is good because we have time to improve them.”
Germany’s women bounced back from Saturday’s shoot-out defeat against Argentina by recording a superb 3-1 triumph on Sunday. Charlotte Stapenhorst’s cool finish just three minutes into the contest proved to be the perfect start, with Pauline Heinz doubling the advantage for Die Danas ahead of half time.
The Europeans made the perfect start to the third quarter by scoring from their first attack, with Pia Maertens firing home on the turn to establish an unassailable lead before Agustina Gorzelany netted what proved to be a consolation goal nine minutes from time.
Argentina remain second in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, although now find themselves some ten points behind table-toppers the Netherlands having played the same number of games. Germany are fifth in the League, having claimed 10 points from their six matches.
“I think scoring with our first chance of the second half was really helpful,” commented Germany goal-scorer Stapenhorst, who was named Player of the Match. “Even being 3-0 up against Argentina, it was still really, really intense, especially in the last quarter. We are just really happy that we came out on top.”
Argentina captain Delfina Merino said, “I think as a team you always have things to improve. It is a task that, day by day, we work on different things. I think that the pressure, the defence, the penalty corners; there are a lot of things that we can work on. We will try to do it day by day.”
Argentina’s men will return to FIH Hockey Pro League action next weekend when they twice face eight times Olympic champions India in Buenos Aires.
FIH Hockey Pro League
Sunday 4 April 2021 – Buenos Aires (ARG)
Men’s result: Argentina 0, Germany 3 (Match 2 of 2)
Player of the Match: Christopher Rühr (GER)
Umpires: German Montes de Oca (ARG), Diego Barbas (ARG) and Irene Presenqui (ARG – video)
Women’s result: Argentina 1, Germany 3 (Match 2 of 2)
Player of the Match: Charlotte Stapenhorst (GER)
Umpires: Carolina de la Fuente (ARG), Irene Presenqui (ARG) and Diego Barbas (ARG – video)