Argentina has come away with a 2-1 over the Black Sticks Men in a tight match between two evenly matched sides. Argentina found themselves up by 2 goals with a quarter to play. With 5 minutes to go the Black Sticks came storming back into the match but ultimately couldn’t break the Argentina defence and fell 2-1.
Looking to back up after a tough shootout loss to Spain on Friday night the Black Sticks Men lined up against an Argentina side who were looking to take 3 points from the Black Sticks on their home ground. The opening of the match was played evenly with both sides looking to size up the opposition. Argentina had the first good opportunity late in the 1stquarter when they found an open player at the top of the circle. The subsequent reverse shot went over the cross bar leaving us tied at 0-0 after one quarter.
The 2ndquarter started positively for the Black Sticks when they put the Argentina right side defence under some pressure with some quick free hits. The Argentina defence was up to the task. Th Black Sticks Men earned the first penalty corner of the match when the Argentina defence struggled to clear their circle. Cory Bennetts subsequent flick was saved by the Argentina goalkeeper. Argentina scored the first goal of the match when they found an open player in the circle and flicked the ball into the net past George Enersen. Despite some good opportunities the Black Sticks were unable to get themselves a clear opportunity and the score remained 1-0 to Argentina.
The Black Sticks started the second half in a positive fashion going close to scoring with a well set up move. The Argentina goalkeeper was up to the task keeping the Black Sticks out of the goal. Argentina had the first penalty corner of the second half. Richard Joyce stood up tall and made a fantastic save. The Black Sticks continued pushing hard against Argentina but could find no way through their resolute defence. After 3 quarters Argentina found themselves in the lead 1-0.
Argentina started the 4thquarter in the best possible fashion earning themselves a penalty corner and then converting that with a low powerful drag flick. The Black Sticks then pulled the goalkeeper and were rewarded almost instantly when they earned a penalty corner and Kane Russell stepped in and flicked a rocket into the top left of the goal. The Black Sticks started to up the tempo of the game as the match wore on utilising their one man overlap to create some pressure on the Argentina team. With 1 minute to go the Black Sticks referred looking to get a much-needed penalty corner. Unfortunately, the call went the other way leaving the Black Sticks without much time and needing to find a goal to tie the match up. Argentina defended strongly and held the Black Sticks out to secure the win 2-1.
Vantage Black Sticks1 (Kane Russell 52’)
Argentina2 (Martin Ferreiro 21’, Maico Casella 48’)