Bhubaneswar, December 3: Former champions Argentina ended France's dream run in the FIH Junior Men's Junior Hockey World Cup by registering a hard-fought 3-1 win in penalty shoot-out of the first semifinal at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday (December 3).
The display from both teams was not worthy of a semi-final but 2005 champions Argentina kept their composure in the shoot-out after the regulation 60 minutes ended goalless.
In the penalty shoot-out, Lucio Mendez, Bautista Capurro and Franco Agostini scored for Argentina while only skipper Timothee Clement found the target for France.
The match ended on a bad note as tempers flared after Lucas Montecot missed France's fourth attempt, resulting in almost fistcuffs but officials of both teams and on-field umpires rushed quickly to handle the situation.
The first semifinal turned out to be a sedate affair, at least in the first two quarters as both the teams failed to create any clear cut chances from field play.
Argentina were by far the better side on display and attacked French goal on quite a few occasions.
The South Americans secured two penalty corners inside the first 10 minutes but, on both occasions, France goalkeeper Guillaume de Vaucelles denied the opposition.
Argentina got another penalty corner in the 18th minute but wasted that too. France's first real scoring chance came in the 25th minute in the form of a set piece but, to no avail, as both the teams failed to break the deadlock at half time.
It continued to be a pale contest after the change of ends, the only difference being France coming out with more purpose and steadily getting their footing. But as has been the case there were no real scoring chances for both sides.
The Frenchmen controlled the proceedings in the final quarter. France turned out to be the surprise package in the pool stages, stunning defending champions India 5-4 for an all-win record till Friday's tie.