Olympic champions Argentina overcame a scare and scored a late equalizer to pull off a hard-fought 3-3 draw against European winners Netherlands in a thrilling Pool A match of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final in Odisha on Sunday.
World No. 1 Argentina, who lost 2-3 to Belgium in their tournament opener, twice came from behind to earn a draw and register their first point in the eight-nation event.
The draw also enabled Netherlands to garner their first point in the tournament after they were stunned 2-3 by lowly Spain in their opening game.
After Netherlands took a 2-0 lead through Thiery Brinkman (9th minute) and Valentin Verga (37th), the Los Leones made a valiant fightback to draw level through penalty corner strikes from Matias Rey (45th) and Lucas Vila.
Nertherlands, however, managed to restore their lead in the 55th minute when Mirco Pruijser scored from a penalty corner before Gonzalo Peillat converted a set piece a minute from the hooter to help Argentina share the spoils.
Earlier in the day, Loick Luypaert scored the first hat- trick of the tournament as Olympic silver medallists Belgium spanked lower-ranked Spain 5-0 to register their second consecutive win.
Spain are the lowest ranked team in the tournament at ninth but they created a flutter on the second day by shocking two-time Olympic gold medallists and reigning European champions Netherlands 3-2 in their tournament opener.
But the Red Lions taught the Spaniards a hockey lesson and pumped in as many as five goals that included three in the final three minutes of the game.
Florent van Aubel (3rd minute), Luypaert (38th, 57th and 59th) and Cedric Charlier were the scorers for Belgium. Argentina will play Spain in the final pool match on Tuesday while Netherlands will be up against Belgium.