Argentina win Women's World Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Argentina defeated reigning World, Olympic, European and world top-ranked Netherlands 3-1 to take their second women's field hockey World Cup.

Updated: September 12, 2010 17:27 IST
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Rosario :

Argentina defeated reigning World, Olympic, European and world top-ranked Netherlands 3-1 to take their second women's field hockey World Cup here.

Argentina's first World Cup came in Perth, Australia in 2002.

A capacity crowd of 15,000 chanting, blue and white fans were interspersed with two small patches of orange-clad Dutch supporters.

Argentina star Luciana Aymar earned her 300th cap for Argentina and Dutch skipper Janneke Schopman announced her retirement on Saturday.

Carla Rebecchi put Netherlands heads down three minutes into the match, at the end of passes from the left from Luciana Aymar to Soledad Garcia to score into the empty goal from near the right post.

Noel Barrionuevo converted Argentina's first penalty corner four minutes later, getting a deflection off the left glove of Netherlands goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek to let Netherlands know they were in a deep hole with work to do to extract themselves.

Netherlands reacted by pressing Argentina high for very long periods, holding Argentina in their defensive half, gaining turnovers from Argentina's outlet passes.

Argentina's defence group of Barrionuevo, Silvina D'Elia, Claudia Burkart and goalkeeper Belen Succi were outstanding as they worked Argentina out of Netherlands press with sharp, short passing interchanges.

Argentina crowded Netherlands in the circle preventing clear shots on goal by Kim Lammers, Marilyn Agliotti and Naomi van As.

Netherlands started the second half with a penalty corner and Succi confidently saved Maartje Paumen's flick low to her left.

Paumen silenced the crowd when she converted Netherlands second penalty corner high into the top of the net.

Netherlands continued their high press and Argentina broke out twice, forcing a passage into Netherlands circle and Rebecchi was there to take a rebound off the right post to score for Argentina in the middle of the second half.

Netherlands heads went down again, realising the enormity of the task to come back from 3-1 down in a final and the crowd knew it, raising the noise level another notch and stamping their feet.

The Netherlands press yielded three more penalty corners in the second half but Succi was the victor in the contest with the flicks by Paumen and Lammers.

In the final seconds of play the noise reached a crescendo and at the final whistle, Argentina players and coaching staff made a human pile on the pitch then jumped and shouted in unison.

Netherlands coach Hermann Kruis congratulated Argentina and reflected on the two early goals to Argentina.

"Our performance in the first eight minutes was terrible. We know Argentina will start at full speed and we were not sharp enough when they scored but after that we played better and created some chances to score," Kruis said.

"We were not clever enough like Argentina to defend against their goals in our circle or to score goals in their circle."

Argentina coach Carlos Retegui agreed it was a close match.

"It was a very, very close match but Argentina took their chances and struck at the right moments by playing a very smart but exhausting, physical game and that is what makes us feel now that we are the best team in the world," Retegui said.

"We knew the Netherlands would apply a lot of pressure so it was clear that this pressure would leave certain zones of the pitch free and this is where we could counter attack and score goals by taking over these clear spaces," Retegui said.

Earlier, England beat Germany 2-0 to take the bronze medal, England's first World Cup medal, adding to their bronze medal from the women's Champions Trophy at Nottingham in July.

Alex Danson and Helen Richardson scored for England late in the first half.

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