Argentina reached their first ever Olympic men’s hockey final with a breathtaking display to oust the 2008 and 2012 champions Germany 5-2 with something to spare in the first semi-final in their history.
Three first half goals from Gonzalo Peillat saw Argentina in wonderland with the reigning champions on the ropes, 3-0 down and they never recovered.
Peillat got his first with eight minutes gone, firing passed Nicolas Jacobi for his eighth goal of the tournament. His ninth came just three minuts later, another low rocket that was too quick for the goalkeeper.
At 2-0, Germany enjoyed their best spell with Florian Fuchs going close on three occasions, Juan Vivaldi saving one of them brilliantly low down while the other deflection slipped wide.
Moritz Fuerste saw a drag-flick also tipped away by Vivaldi, Argentina, meanwhile, made the most of their chances. Peillat kept his brilliant record going from a softly conceded corner in the 28th minute and the left-back went the high route this time to beat Jacobi.
In the second half, they allowed Germany to hold more of the ball and then picked them off when the chances came their way. Agustin Mazzilli produced some gorgeous skills – including an audacious dummy – for the fourth goal before flipping the ball into the path of Joaquin Menini who volleyed in.
Lucas Vila made it 5-0 in the 47th minute when he was set free on the right of the circle and he smashed home.
Fuerste got one back for the Germans from the penalty spot with nine minutes left while Christopher Ruhr slammed in a second with two minutes left.
But it was scant consolation for them and they are now destined for the bronze medal match. Argentina, meanwhile, have a maiden final on the horizon.