The first game of the Four Nations tournament in Cordoba has not gone the Black Sticks way after defensive gaps opened up in the second half taking a half time draw to a 7-3 loss at full time.
It was thanks to a successful reverse stick shot at goal from Midland’s Cat Finlayson and a second goal to Auckland’s Krystal Forgesson which kept the world number two ranked team to a draw when they left the turf at half time.
“Argentina hurt us big time on the counter attack in the second half. We were unable to hold on to the ball for long periods, we didn’t defend well and we weren’t able to stop their penalty corners from finding the back of the net,” says Black Sticks coach Mark Hager.
Argentina made the most of the second half, scoring five more goals, when co-captain and defensive stalwart Kayla Sharland was rotated off the field. Finlayson made it a double, scoring New Zealand’s only goal of the second half when the ball was hit across the face of the goal and she tapped it in.
“Although we haven’t had international competition in the last three months, we can’t use that as an excuse. We still have to be more consistent throughout the seventy minutes and really dig in and be more competitive when it matters,” says Hager.
Noel Barrionuevo was the goal-scoring heroine for Argentina, netting four times in the second half with Sofia Maccari, Delfina Merino and Carla Rebecchi also registering.
New Zealand face Korea tomorrow at 11.30am (NZ time) before they play Great Britain on Sunday at 9am (NZ time). They then go to Rosario for the 2012 FIH Champions Trophy where they will play their first game of the tournament against Argentina at midday 29 January (NZ time).
Hawke’s Bay are the principal partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
Full time: 7-3 (Argentina win)
Half time: 2-2
NZ goal scorers: Cat Finlayson x2, Krystal Forgesson
Source Material: Hockey New Zealand Media release
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