Argentina women went top of the FIH Pro League after a 4-2 win over Great Britain women in Rosario.
Argentina forced a penalty corner after just 88 seconds but although a manoeuvred routine eluded Agustina Albertarrio at the left post, it was an early indication that Great Britain would be put under pressure.
The first quarter ended goalless although Lily Owsley was unlucky to carry the ball over the Argentinian back line when attacking and Maria Granatto also showed that she would be a threat to the GB defence.
Argentina’s penalty corner routine misfired again in the 17th minute when the injection was mistrapped and looped out of the circle. Seven minutes later, Surbiton’s Hannah Martin went close from the right of the circle.
In the 26th minute, Argentina took the lead, Julieta Jankunas firing home from the left of the circle with a shot which Surbiton’s Sabbie Heesh could not stop. With Argentina looking the most likely to score, it was GB who equalised, Grace Balsdon’s drag-flick spectacularly making its way into the roof of the net to make the score 1-1 at half time.
Argentina needed just fifty seconds to restore their lead after half time, Albertarrio setting up a goal for Jankunas for the second time in the match and again from the left of the circle, unfortunately for Nicola Cochrane who replaced Heesh at half time.
GB fought back but Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley had a drag-flick shot well saved by Argentina goalkeeper Belen Succi from her side’s second penalty corner and Sarah Robertson was also denied by Succi, from open play.
In the 34th minute, Victoria Zuloaga extended the Argentinian lead to 3-1 with a bullet shot which rebounded off the backboard.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Martin’s deflection went agonisingly wide from GB’s third penalty corner and the game was all but over four minutes from time when Maria Granatto deflected Albertarrio’s cross from the right at the right post, the deflected shot angled perfectly inside the far left post.
GB battled back a minute later when Sarah Jones chipped the ball from the right of the circle to reduce the deficit to 4-2 and having taken Cochrane off as a last resort, Ansley made a much needed tackle in the dying seconds to stop Argentina scoring a fifth goal into the empty net.
Surbiton’s Hollie Pearne-Webb was back as captain after missing the USA game and was in the starting lineup together with Ansley, Emily Defroand, Martin, making her 50th combined international appearance and goalkeeper Heesh. Sarah Evans came on in the fourth minute and Jo Hunter followed in the 24th minute.
More information about the Women’s tournament can be found at the FIH website