Argentina holds off Belgium to take men's gold

Argentina beat Belgium 4-2 to claim the Olympic title on Thursday and win the country's first Games medal in men's hockey, edging a close-fought match between two teams few expected to make the final.

Long playing in the shadow of a much-celebrated women's team, Argentina's men will leave Rio with their first Olympic hockey medal.   -  Getty Images

Argentina beat Belgium 4-2 to claim the Olympic title on Thursday and win the country's first Games medal in men's hockey, edging a close-fought match between two teams few expected to make the final.

Long playing in the shadow of a much-celebrated women's team, Argentina's men will leave Rio with their first Olympic hockey medal. Belgium's silver was its best finish at the Games in 96 years. It last took home bronze in Antwerp in 1920.

Both teams had beaten the odds in Rio to make their first Olympic final. Belgium eliminated World No. 2 the Netherlands 3-1 on Tuesday, hours before Argentina routed defending champion Germany 5-2.

The Germans were reduced to scrapping it out for third place against the Dutch ahead of the main event, they claimed the bronze after winning a penalty shootout 4-3 following a tense 1-1 draw at full time.