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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Former Champions Argentina rode on a splendid hat-trick by Facundo Zarate and a brace of goals each by Lautaro Domene and Bautista to thrash hapless Egypt 14-0 in their opening match of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

This is the biggest margin of victory in the Junior Hockey World Cup. The previous best was hosts India's 13-0 win against Singapore back in 1982.

Of the deluge of goals, while six came off penalty corners, two were of penalty strokes. The Argentines scored three goals in the first quarter and seven in the fourth.

Argentina, who had emerged champions in 2005, set the ball rolling with Zarate scoring their opening goal as early as in the third minute of the match off a penalty corner. The agile striker added two more goals to his tally in the 47th and 58th minutes by converting two penalty strokes to complete his splendid hat-trick against the African minnows.

Domene scored his first goal in the 12th minute, the team's third, and then added his second in the 58th minute off penalty corner while Capurro pierced the net in the 12th minute and 44th minute, respectively.

The remaining goals were shared between Francisco Ruiz (10th min), Franco Agostini (25th min), Ignacio Nardolillo (39th min), Mendez Lucio (46th min), Joaquin Kruger (47th min), Stellato Bruno (48th min) and Joaquin Toscani (51st min).

The big difference of victory will bolster Argentina’s confidence ahead of their important clash against mighty Germany and dark horse Pakistan in other Group D clashes. The healthy goal of difference will also keep Argentina in good stead for their elevation to the next stage.

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