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SA women put to the sword by Argentina
- Updated: February 23, 2014
With eight-times World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar delivering a master-class in close control and intuitive running, Argentina came back from a goal down to beat the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team 6-1 in the first of five Tests at Mar del Plata in Argentina late on Saturday night.
SA took the lead in the 14th minute when livewire runner Bernie Coston had a hand in setting up her team’s first penalty corner. Lisa Deetlefs timed her disguised shot/pass to the right-hand post to perfection and Candice Manuel, coming in at an angle, deflected home.
But Argentina, the reigning World Cup champions and London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallists, came back strongly with fine field goals from Carla Rebecchi, Daniela Sruoga and Delfina Merino, leaving SA with much to do after the changeover.
The umpiring did not help South Africa’s cause, but the Argentinians were the better side and did score some very good goals. SA had their chances, too but it wasn’t their night.
Argentina’s goals after the changeover came from a powerful Noel Barrionuevo penalty corner, then a wonder goal by Delfina Merino ÔÇô and Aymar deserved getting on the scoresheet with the final strike of the night.
SA had some very good moments but Argentina had the edge in finesse when it mattered, and South African keeper Phume Mbande made a number of outstanding saves from full-blooded shots on goal.