Rio de Janeiro: A hat trick from Gonzalo Peillat powered Argentina into the men's Olympic hockey final with a stunning 5-2 upset against defending champions Germany in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.
Peillat, who opened the scoring with a drag-flick from a penalty corner midway through the first quarter, grabbed a second before the quarter ended and completed his hat trick before halftime to open up a 3-0 lead over the Germans.
All three of Peillat's goals came from penalty corners, and the 24-year-old praised his side's tactics and preparation before the game.
"We watched a lot of videos (of the Germans) before this game. We had three corners in the first part of the game and then we scored three from three so it was good," he said.
"It's really exciting. Now we can do it (win a gold medal). We are in the final."
Joaquin Menini and Lucas Vila added a goal each for Argentina in the third and fourth quarters before Germany's captain Moritz Furste pulled a goal back for his team 10 minutes from the end.
The Germans stepped up their intensity as they chased the game, and were rewarded in the 58th minute when Christopher Ruhr beat Argentina's goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi to cut the deficit to three goals.
The flurry, however, came too late, and the defeat consigned the Germans to a bronze medal play-off, while keeping Argentina in the hunt for their first-ever Olympic hockey gold medal.
Furste said Germany had only themselves to blame for losing control so early in the match.
"We didn't play our best hockey today, that's for sure. They defended well, they scored three corners, that just can't happen. After that it was very difficult for us to come back into the game," he added.
"Once you're two or three goals down against them it's always difficult. But we believed in ourselves. We tried everything until the end, it just wasn't enough."
Argentina will meet either Belgium or Netherlands in Thursday's final.