Bhubaneswar, Dec 12 (IANS) England edged past Argentina 3-2 in a pulsating quarter-final of the hockey World Cup here on Wednesday.
Veteran dragflick expert Gonzalo Peilat (17th, 48th minutes) converted a couple of penalty corners for Argentina.
England, who were impressive with their free flowing attacks and well organised defence, scored field goals through Barry Middleton (27th), Will Calnan (44th) and Harry Martin (49th).
It was an end to end affair with plenty of scoring chances for both teams although England enjoyed a slightly upper hand for the most part.
Although England dominated the opening quarter, Peilat gave Argentina the lead with a powerful dragflick. England goalkeeper George Pinner had dived the correct way but was beaten by the sheer power in Peilat’s shot.
England almost struck back in the next minute but an excellent save by goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi at his near post maintained Argentina’s lead.
There were chances at both ends and Vivaldi was soon forced to make another good save to keep Argentina ahead.
But the relentless England pressure finally bore fruit when Middleton scored a field goal with an excellent finish after a well worked build-up.
Calnan, who had to sit out for a while after picking up a yellow card, made amends soon after coming back in when he beat Vivaldi at his near post with a powerful finish.
England had a narrow escape a couple of minutes into the final quarter when the umpire initially awarded a penalty stroke to Argentina which was changed to a penalty corner for the South Americans after a review.
But if the English players had heaved a sigh of relief, it turned out to be temporary as Peilat scored with another powerful dragflick.
England struck back at the other end in the very next minute when Martin scored to make the issue safe for the European powerhouse.
Argentina seemed to disintegrate under pressure in the closing minutes with two of their players sent off for yellow card offences as England clinched a well deserved victory.