Surbiton Ladies’ Izzy Petter made a good impression on her debut for Great Britain against Argentina in the latest FIH Pro League match at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Although Argentina took the bonus point by winning the shootout 2-1 after a 1-1 draw in 60 minutes, there was much to be optimistic about as Great Britain battled all the way with both normal time goals coming in the last eight minutes.
The first major chances came from penalty corners, a deflection from Amy Costello’s shot saved, followed by Lily Owsley blocking Argentina’s first penalty corner.
Early in the second quarter, Surbiton’s Sabbie Heesh was called upon to save from the Argentine captain, Carla Rebecchi before penalty corners were at the forefront once more, Laura Unsworth deflecting Silvina d’Elia’s shot and Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley also going close following a deflection.
Owsley nearly broke the deadlock just before half time, and the action didn’t slow down early in the second half when Great Britain quickly forced two penalty corners and a counter attack resulted in Agustina Albertarrio hitting the left side of the goal level with the crossbar.
Shortly afterwards, Surbiton players combined to going close to breaking the deadlock, Ansley finding Sarah Evans to set up a chance for Erica Sanders, who missed the chance to celebrate her birthday with a goal, a reverse stick shot whistling past the left post.
Argentina took the lead in the 52nd minute is somewhat fortunate circumstances as Albertarrio’s cross from the left was deflected in off Surbiton’s Hollie Pearne-Webb with a subsequent video referral rejected after a query whether the cross was dangerous.
Great Britain can never be written off and having elected to replace Heesh with an eleventh attacking player, the tactic paid off in the 56th minute when after Unsworth’s shot was saved from a penalty corner, Owsley poked the ball home from close range to force a shootout.
Great Britain never led in the shootout, Anna Toman running out of time after Cristina Cosentino saved her shot, before D’Elia beat Heesh from the edge of the circle to put Argentina 1-0 ahead.
Surbiton’s Hannah Martin hit the left side netting, only for Albertarrio to blast the ball over the bar in response.
Pearne-Webb found the backboard from Great Britain’s third attempt to level the score with Heesh saving from Agostina Alonso
Sarah Jones had her shot saved by Cosentino and Rebecchi’s shot was high and wide of the goal to leave the score at 1-1 with each team having one attempt left.
Surbiton’s Sarah Evans saw her shot saved but Julieta Jankunas won Argentina the bonus point with a finish from wide of the right post.
Evans, Heesh, Martin, Sanders, Ansley, Pearne-Webb and Petter were all in the GB starting line-up whilst Jo Hunter came on as a fifth minute substitute.
After the match, Petter summed up her senior international debut saying, “I enjoyed it. Argentina are a really cool team to play against!”
Evans,the Player of the Match, although naturally disappointed with the result, was still optimistic,”Our performance was a big step forward. Argentina are a great side and we competed well.”
She added, “It was great to play with Izzy!”
More info about the Women’s FIH Pro League can be found here