Black Sticks Women coach Mark Hager was right in his prediction that the Argentinean team would come out firing in their second of three tests at North Harbour Hockey Stadium tonight.
Argentina trampled the Black Sticks 6-1, with three goals being scored in each half and Cathryn Finlayson the only Black Stick to get a score on the board.
The world champions, known as Las Leonas, showed their class tonight with a much quicker game than they played in Whangarei on Saturday. The Argentineans held possession and attacked with confidence and although there were opportunities for the Black Sticks to score, including four penalty corners just before the final whistle, the team could not get the result they were after.
In the first half it only took four minutes for Canda Gonzalez to open the scoring with a field goal, followed less than 10 minutes later by a penalty corner to Maria D’Elia, and Delfina Merino following suit to score from a penalty corner in the 22nd minute.
Northlander Charlotte Harrison hit the ball into goal early on in the second half but unfortunately it was disallowed due to an infringement which occurred moments prior to her taking the shot.
However, Black Stick Cathryn Finlayson had more success when she scored her second goal of the series in the 42nd minute when she received the ball in the circle, dribbled it a few metres and flicked it past goalkeeper Julia Simonassi.
The Argentineans made it look easy in the second half with goals to captain Maria Barrionuevo and Daniela Sruoga. A yellow card to Barrionuevo in the 60th minute did little to halt the Argentineans momentum as Delfina Merino scored her second goal from a penalty corner one minute later.
Despite the disappointing result for the Black Sticks it was a real spectacle tonight at North Harbour Hockey Stadium, helped by a good sized crowd including a bus load of vocal Argentineans who swarmed onto the turf at the end of the game to congratulate their team.
The final game is tomorrow night at 6pm at North Harbour Hockey Stadium.
Source: Hockey New Zealand Media release
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