The first Test of the series between the Investec South Africa women's hockey team and Argentina was won 2-0 by the tourists at the University of Free State hockey centre in Bloemfontein Sunday evening.
The score was 1-0 to the world champions Argentina at half-time in this the first of a five-Test series.
Argentina took the lead midway through the first half when captain Noel Barrionuevo netted a penalty corner. It was the second of the match after the Argentines had dominated the early period of play.
This was followed up in the second half when Silvina D'Elia slammed another penalty corner attempt into the backboard past SA goalkeeper Mariette Rix.
SA came back strongly in the second half and had numerous opportunities, particularly ace goalscorer Pietie Coetzee, whose penalty corner drag flick smashed into the crossbar.
Investec South Africa captain Marsha Marescia initiated a series of dangerous moves in conjunction with home team player of the match Lesle-Ann George but the Argentine defence was generally equal to the task in the first half.
The cold conditions saw both teams give the ball back to their opponents through unnecessary errors but it didn't appear to deter Argentine teenager and the South Americans' player of the match Jimena Cedres, whose skilful stickwork tested the home country's defensive structure.
Both teams had opportunities to win this match but the Argentine team under head coach Carlos Retegui probably just shaded SA mentor Giles Bonnet's squad in that department, although it was a close-run thing.
After a slow start, the SA side got into gear and forwards Dirkie Chamberlain, Kelly Madsen, Kathleen Taylor, the ever-dangerous Coetzee, as well as defenders Illse Davids and Lenise Marais all had their moments.
The second Test takes place Monday with the third on Wednesday followed by the fourth and fifth on Thursday and Friday respectively.
Source: SA Hockey Media Release
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