Pool C – Argentina 3-2 New Zealand
Agustina Soledad Garcia was in sensational form for Argentina as her side recorded a 3-2 win over New Zealand, although Las Leonas will have an agonising wait to see if they will qualify for the Gold Medal match.
Argentina took the lead in the 14th minute of the match through Agustina Soledad Garcia, and what a superb goal it was. The Las Leonas attacker entered the circle down the left before turning inside her marker and crashing a shot into the roof of the net despite a brave attempted block from New Zealand goalkeeper Sally Rutherford.
Garcia was in sensational form in the first half, and played a massive role in Argentina’s second goal which was scored by team captain Luciana Aymar. The seven times FIH Player of the Year took full advantage when she played a one-two with Garcia before rolling the ball into the unguarded net.
The classy Garcia was simply irresistible in the first half, causing no end of problems for the Black Sticks defence. It was not long before her brilliance resulted in a third goal when she moved in to the circle on from the left and struck a shot against the post. The rebound fell to Rocio Sanchez Moccia, who had the simplest of tasks to score from a metre out.
Clarissa Eshuis gave New Zealand hope with a low penalty corner flick on the stroke of half time, but there could be no doubt that Argentina were very much the better team in opening 35 minutes.
Following some words of encouragement from team coach Mark Hager, New Zealand put Argentina under huge pressure in the early stages of the second half and pulled another goal back when Charlotte Harrison bundled home a penalty corner from close range. The world champions were rattled, and struggled to cope as the youthful Black Sticks front line continued to create goal-scoring chances.
Las Leonas defender Daniela Sruoga suffered a bizarre and unfortunate injury in the 48th minute. Immediately following the successful defence of a penalty corner situation, Sruoga was hit on the head by a facemask thrown by one of her team mates and was forced to leave the field with a blood injury.
Argentina were on top in the final ten minutes of the match, although grew increasingly frustrated as they failed to add to their tally and eventually lost the services of Ana Mararena Rodriguez Perez to a yellow card before time ran out.