Argentina has used a final quarter goal scoring blitz to beat the Vantage Black Sticks Women and secure three points in their FIH Pro League battle in Rosario this morning (NZT). Entering the final quarter tied at 1-1 Argentina outclassed their opposition with two incredibly well constructed goals to secure the 3-1 win. The New Zealand side struggled to connect throughout the match as the long passes they continued to try were constantly being picked off by the Argentina defence.
Stacey Michelsen commented after the match “It was a tough game; we started really well and had some good early chances. Argentina built into the match and finished the game strongly. We gave their strikers too much space and they managed to capatalise on that”.
The Vantage Black Sticks Women began the match confidently as they spread the ball across the field and looked to stretch the Argentinian defence. As the quarter wore on Grace O’Hanlon was called upon to make some important and difficult saves, while being supported by some outstanding cover defence.
The first quarter for the Kiwi Women was a much more well-rounded performance than the last time these two sides met in Auckland when the Argentina team came out on top 3-0.
New Zealands first real scoring opportunity came when off a penalty corner Olivia Merry swept the ball back to Stacey Michelson, the injector, only for the ball to sail agonisingly past Michelsen’s stick and not into the back of the goal.
The Vantage Black Sticks did score the opening goal of the match in the 26th minute when Michelsen found herself on the end of a loose ball after a charged down first shot. Michelsen then flicked the ball into the back of the net , past the desperate dive of Belen Succi in goal
However, the Las Leonas struck back late in the half after a terrific reverse stick shot rocketed home past New Zealand goalkeeper Brooke Roberts, who had replaced O’Hanlon
In the final moments of the third quarter Argentina found themselves with a one on one against O’Hanlon. The Argentina striker was unable to get a powerful shot off and this resulted in Frances Davies scrambling and hitting the ball wide of the goal before it trickled over the goal line.
The Las Leonas couldn’t have asked for a better start to the final quarter when Julieta Jankunas managed to find separation in the Black Sticks circle and powered a stunning shot into the top of the net to put Argentina up 2-1.
Moments later Argentina extended their lead when Eugenia Trinchinetti caught O’Hanlon off guard and swept the ball into the far corner of the goal. The third goal was the final nail in the coffin as Argentina came away comfortable winners 3-1.
New Zealand return home now to prepare for their Anzac Day match on April 25 at North Harbour, when they will take on Australia in their final home match of the FIH Pro League.
Vantage Black Sticks Women 1 (Stacey Michelsen 26 min)
Argentina 3 (Agostina Alonso 29 min, Julieta Jankunas 48 min, Eugenia Trinchinetti 52 min).