Argentina have emerged as winners during the first game of the four test series against the Hockeyroos, winning 2-1 in Townsville.
Buoyed by the home crowd the Hockeyroos got off to a good start, doing the majority of the attack in the early stages of the game.
This included the first two penalty corner attempts of the match, however neither were converted. Australia looked likely to score when a scramble in the circle saw the ball head towards the open goal, however some quick reflexes from the Argentinean goalkeeper saw her beat the ball back to the line and keep the match goalless.
Eventually the Hockeyroos were rewarded for their early work, with captain Madonna Blyth celebrating her 150th match in style after pouncing on a rebound from a penalty corner attempt, putting the Hockeyroos in front at the 18 minute mark.
Argentina seemed unfazed and stuck to their game plan, gradually becoming more dangerous as the half continued.
The visitors were given an opportunity when the Hockeyroos defence was caught off guard momentarily, with Macarena Abente on the end of a deflection which beat goalkeeper Rachael Lynch, leveling the score.
Lynch went some way to make amends only minutes later, making a good save to control Argentina’s growing momentum.
With Sarah O’Connor and Stacia Joseph performing well in defence the Hockeyroos took to the pitch full of confidence after the half time break, and looked likely to one again gain the lead when they were awarded a penalty corner only minutes after half time. However they were unable to convert once again.
Argentina made them pay the ultimate price only minutes later when they converted a penalty corner of their own, giving them a 2-1 lead with 17 minutes remaining.
With the Hockeyroos awarded a penalty corner just before the full time whistle a draw seemed a real possibility. Although the ball went in the goal was not allowed due to the hit not being above the backboard, with Argentina running out 2-1 winners.
Source: Hockey Australia
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