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Kookas stumble to draw with Argentina
By Guy Hand
20:46 AEST Fri Aug 3 2012

On a day Jamie Dwyer created goalscoring history, the Kookaburras endured goalscoring misery.

The men's hockey gold medal favourites were given a scare by Argentina at the Olympics in a 2-2 draw on Friday, squandering a 2-0 halftime advantage and enough chances to win 10 games.

Dwyer broke Australia's all-time goalscoring record, netting his 180th international goal.

But despite creating a chance once every three minutes on average, the Kookaburras were unable to make their 24 shots to seven advantage count.

A Gonzalo Peillat penalty corner with two minutes remaining earned Argentina a point and stopped Australia's hopes of running away with Pool A.

While they remain top of the table after three matches and in the box seat for semi-final qualification, coach Ric Charlesworth is concerned the Kookaburras could pay a much higher price if they don't fix their goalscoring yips ahead of Sunday's clash with rising Great Britain.

"I didn't think we finished well in the first two games, and today was more of that," Charlesworth said.

"That concerns me. If you create chances, it would be nice to get a better share."

For a team which had scored 11 goals, conceded none and looked full of menace in their opening two wins, it was going according to the script as Matthew Butturini netted after 12 minutes.

Then came Dwyer's record-breaking goal to move past former Kookaburras legend Mark Hager - a simple tap-in just prior to halftime to give his side a two-goal buffer at the break.

But an early second half goal to Argentine skipper Matias Vila, which deflected off Australian defender Fergus Kavanagh's stick, gave their bottom-placed rivals a sniff.

And the Kookaburras' waywardness amid a procession of chances kept the door open for Argentina to deliver Peillat's sucker punch with two minutes remaining.

Argentina's goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi was also in sensational touch, making three world-class saves to keep the Kookaburras at bay.

Now the Kookaburras will have to win both their remaining matches to guarantee top spot in the group going into the semi-finals.

Hager, who is New Zealand's women's hockey coach at the Games, paid tribute to Dwyer.

"Records are meant to be broken," he said.

"Good luck to him, he's a quality player, one of the world's best. If an Australian record's going to get beaten then there's no better person to achieve that."

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