Argentina men beat NZ 3-1 to stay in semifinal hunt

The Hague, Netherlands: Argentina stayed on course for a semifinal spot in the men`s hockey World Cup with a rousing 3-1 victory over New Zealand at the Kyocera Stadium here Friday.

A hat-trick of penalty corner conversions by Gonzalo Peillat lifted the Argentine challenge against New Zealand, who until then were heading the Group B table with a maximum of six points from their earlier two games.

After a goalless first session, Peillat opened the account with his first penalty corner strike in the 44th minute, only for New Zealand to equalise with a flash strike by Stephen Jenness five minutes later.

Peillat got into the scoring act again in the 51st and 69th minute to give Argentina three points from the crucial encounter.

Argentina had earlier shocked reigning Olympic champions Germany 1-0 to throw the pool wide open. The Argentines now have six points from three games, the same as New Zealand.

Hosts and Olympic Games silver medalists The Netherlands have six points from two successive victories, and later tonight play Germany in a crucial game that would have immense bearing on which teams from this group make it to the semifinals. Germany have three points from two earlier outings.