WATCH: Violence Erupts in Argentina-Spain Field Hockey Game on Opening Day of Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/25/2021, 1:02 PM EDT


At the Tokyo Olympics 2020, athletes displayed several signs of respect and compassion for their opponents. Whether it’s a warm embrace after a tough fight or a simple fist bump, all Olympians have showed exemplary signs of sportsmanship.

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However, the field hockey match between Argentina and Spain displayed an ugly side of the game. While both teams drew their Pool A match, their gross misconduct overshadowed a tough match between two strong teams.

Argentina and Spain players involved in a post-match scuffle at Tokyo Olympics 2020

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Although the two teams played their first match in Tokyo, the intensity jumped by leaps and bounds in the first quarter. Just eight minutes in, Argentine Nahuel Salis picked up the first green card of the match, which forced him to serve a two-minute suspension. Argentina ended up with three green cards and a yellow card offense.

With both countries trading close chances, Argentina scored first in the second quarter of the game. Agustin Alejandro Mazzilli took the honors with a deft finish, lobbing the ball over Spanish goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi.

Spain fought back in the final quarter, winning a penalty corner in the 52nd minute. Pau Quemada Cadafalch tucked in Spain’s equalizer from the resulting penalty corner, ensuring the match ended in a draw.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Hockey – Men’s Pool A – Argentina v Spain – Oi Hockey Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 24, 2021. Miguel Delas of Spain reacts while in action. REUTERS/Phil Noble

After the match, Spanish player David Alegre was left lying on the ground due to an exhausting 60 minutes of play. While Argentina’s Matias Rey came over to help him stretch out, Lucas Rossi had other ideas.

The 36-year-old came across and started yelling at Alegre in pure frustration. However, what followed next was even more shocking. Rossi jabbed his hockey stick at Alegre’s head, which left the Spaniards extremely furious.

Despite the intensity of their gameplay, this incident overshadowed the hard-fought 1-1 draw between the teams.

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Rossi handed a one-match suspension for his actions

Earlier today, Rossi received a one-match suspension for his dangerous actions towards Alegre. The 36-year-old served his suspension by missing Argentina’s game against Japan earlier today.

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Despite his absence, Argentina ran out 2-1 winners on the evening with Nicolas Keenan and Jose Tolini getting the goals. Their next match will be against Australia on Tuesday, July 27th, for which Rossi will be available once again.

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As for Spain, they lost a high-scoring match to New Zealand 4-3 earlier today. However, they have a chance to make amends when they take on India this Tuesday. India endured their biggest defeat in Olympic history earlier today, losing 7-1 to Australia.

WATCH STORY: 5 Biggest and Most Shocking Upsets in Olympic History

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Sanket Nair

632 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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