World champions Argentina inflicted a crushing 22-0 defeat over Guyana at the Pan Am Hockey Cup which is being played in Mendoza, Argentina.
Featuring an experienced side including 7-time world player of the year, the Maradonna of hockey, Luciana Aymar, Argentina were near flawless in their performance.
From the outset of the match Guyana appeared to be totally star-struck and outclassed by their experienced opposition and struggled to string together passes amidst stifling pressure from the world #2 ranked team. Argentina took just 2 minutes to pounce on a loose pass from Guyana’s right midfield to counterattack with a four-pass combination finished off by a tip in from Martina Cavallero. The wave of blue and white continued to steamroll the Guyanese as goalkeeper Alysa Xavier was called upon frequently to make saves, but the rebounds would often be met by an Argentine stick for the put back. World rated striker Carla Rebecci got on the score sheet twice in the first half en route to an Argentina total of 11 goals by halftime.
While Aymar, winner of the World Player of the Year award a record seven times, was content to play the role of playmaker in the first half, but she would further excite the voluminous crowd in the second half with a plethora of goals of her own.
Guyana fought bravely in the second half, but gained very few opportunities to threaten the Argentine goal. Aymar, meanwhile, chalked up four goals to her name in the second half, while Rebecci added two more to her first half double. Argentina repeated their amazing first half performance with eleven more goals in the second half.
Coach Philip Fernandes indicated after the game that it was a difficult match for the Guyanese as they were outclassed in every aspect of the game. Fernandes said that the team made several tactical adjustments during the match, but that did not improve the situation as the Argentines were too powerful for the Guyanese to establish an impact on the game.
With the Guyanese overwhelmed by the hosts, Guyana now faces Uruguay in the crossovers for 5 – 8 places.
Fernandes indicated that the competition for the last few spots is really the major focus for the Guyanese ladies. He stated that the team knew they would not be able to compete with the very top teams in the competition, but that they are hopeful to make an impact among the next tier. The winner of the Guyana versus Uruguay match today (Thursday 26th September) will go on to play in the 5th& 6th match, while the loser will battle to avoid the final place in the eight team competition.
World #36 ranked Uruguay will be a difficult challenge for the #56 ranked Guyanese who last met them in the World League one year ago and lost by 4 – 1.
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