Argentina welcomed the national teams of Germany to the Cenard National high Performance Center in Buenos Aires on Friday 22 February, a day that was heavily affected by the weather conditions. Argentina’s women claimed a shoot-out victory over Germany in a match that featured numerous forced stoppages due to thunder, lightning and heavy rain, all factors which would force the cancellation of the day’s second match between the two nations’ men’s teams.
Argentina’s women (FIH World Ranking: 4) came into their meeting against Germany (WR:5) sitting top of the FIH Pro League standings thanks to a win against Belgium coupled with a two points earned from a shoot-out success over USA after regular time finished with the scores level. Whilst starting the day fifth in the standings, Germany’s excellent 3-1 triumph in New Zealand against the Black Sticks being the perfect remedy to their earlier narrow shoot-out loss at the hands of the Hockeyroos in Hobart, Australia.
The home favourites, cheered on by a sell-out crowd at Cenard, took the lead just three minutes into the contest when captain Delfina Merino cut into the circle from the right before unleashing a backhand rocket into the bottom corner. Merino’s goal was the second blow in a matter of minutes for Die Danas, who moments earlier had lost attacker Charlotte Stapenhorst through injury.
The second half was hit by numerous delays due to thunder, lightning and heavy rain. A penalty corner awarded to Germany just before the first of the enforced breaks was emphatically converted immediately afterwards by Rebecca Grote, who slammed her drag-flick into the top left corner to level the scores at 1-1.
Things were to get even better for the team coached by former Belgium international Xavier Reckinger, who expressed his delight when captain Janne Müller-Wieland’s deflected penalty corner effort put Germany into a 2-1 lead moments before more thunder and lightening forced both teams to leave the field once again.
Carlos Retegui’s Argentina levelled the scores shortly after the restart with a brilliantly worked penalty corner routine, Player of the Match Rosario Luchetti angling a deflection high into the Germany net before inclement weather forced the match to be halted on two further occasions, with torrential rain creating unplayable conditions due to the pools of water that had formed on the playing surface.
Despite all of the challenges, the match eventually finished with the scores locked at 2-2, meaning that the two sides would try to claim the bonus point in the shoot-out. The one-on-ones went all the way to sudden-death before Carla Rebecchi continued her wonderful return to international hockey with the crucial strike to keep Argentina at the top of the FIH Pro League standings. To see the women’s standings, click here.
FIH Pro League: Argentina-Germany (Men) cancelled due to weather conditions
Due to heavy rain and thunder in Buenos Aires, it was not possible to play today’s FIH Pro League Men’s game between Argentina and Germany. As stipulated in the League regulations, since the match was identified as not being able to be played on the same day as originally scheduled, it will not be re-scheduled to another day. Therefore, the match was cancelled and is considered a draw (0-0). To see the men’s FIH Pro League standings, click here.