Argentinian players celebrate en route to their comfortable victory over hosts India ©FIH

Two goals from penalty corner expert Gonzalo Peillat inspired Argentina to a 3-0 victory over hosts India today to open the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) World League Final in Raipur, while Germany and The Netherlands played out a scoreless draw.

A partisan home crowd first enjoyed a "vibrant, colourful and entertaining" Opening Ceremony before action began at the Raipur International Hockey Stadium, a venue holding its first international event barely a year after opening in August 2014.

Home support counted for little, however, with Carlos Retegui's South American team taking a 2-0 lead before half-time.

Peillat opened the scoring in the third minute with a deflected penalty corner rocket that left Indian shot-stopper P.R. Sreejesh stranded, before Joaquin Menini scored from close range with another set piece.

Despite a powerful Rupinder Pal Singh shot being cleared off the line, Argentina were well worth their lead and continued to dominate in the latter stages.

This was rewarded with a third goal, and a second from Peillat, as a penalty corner drag-flick sailed into the roof of the Indian net in overtime.

"We started very well, the intensity was very good”, said the scorer of the game's decisive brace.

“We earned enough corners.

"Now we need to think how we play against Holland as they have a really good team."

Germany and The Netherlands played out a 0-0 draw in the second match of the day ©FIH
Germany and The Netherlands played out a 0-0 draw in the second match of the day ©FIH

Asian Games champions India had been hoping to continue their recent resurgence, but with Argentina only the third-ranked team in Group B, they will now have their work cut-out to make the knock-out stages. 

Germany and The Netherlands clashed in a repeat of the London 2012 Olympic final, but it was a far less eye-catching affair than the 2-1 scoreline of three years ago.

Both sides had chances to win but proved unable to break the deadlock, with goalkeepers Nicolas Jacobi and Jaap Stockman each excelling.

Germany will face India and Argentina will lock horns with Netherlands tomorrow.

In Group A, Britain will face Canada, and Belgium will go up against the world's number one ranked team, Australia.

Action is set to continue until a final on December 6, the winner of which will qualify for next June's Champions Trophy in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina.

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