Rio 2016: Argentina claim maiden hockey gold


A sizeable Argentine contingent at the Olympic Hockey Centre in Rio were sent into raptures as their men's team claimed a maiden gold medal with a 4-2 victory over Belgium.

Thursday's final brought together two teams contesting an Olympic final for the first time and, although Belgium drew first blood, Argentina held a 3-1 lead by half-time.

A sensational individual goal from Gauthier Boccard set up a grandstand finale, but Belgium were unable to find a third and conceded again in the closing seconds.

Argentina were behind after just two minutes and 35 seconds, goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi failing to keep out a relatively tame effort from Tanguy Cosyns.

However, Pedro Ibarra levelled the score from a 12th-minute penalty corner, despite the best efforts of Florent Van Aubel on the line, and Argentina moved ahead in the final minute of the first period when Ignacio Ortiz swept home.

A second goal from a penalty corner, this time courtesy of Gonzalo Peillat, left Belgium with plenty of work to do in the second half.

Boccard responded with a dazzling strike, cutting inside from the right and beating three defenders before finishing powerfully.

However, Argentina held firm thereafter and sealed victory with 16.9 seconds on the clock, Agustin Mazzilli slotting into an empty net after Belgium had chased a late leveller.

Earlier in the day, Germany beat Netherlands 4-3 in a shoot-out to secure the bronze medal, after their contest had finished level at 1-1.