The Hockeyroos have suffered their first loss of their 2020 FIH Pro League campaign after falling 2-0 to world number three ranked Argentina at Perth Hockey Stadium tonight.
With the Hockeyroos proudly parading a special Indigenous playing kit to celebrate the contribution of past and present Indigenous players, it was the Argentineans that made the most of the occasion, scoring in the 14th and 48th minute to wrap up the three points.
After handing a debut to Karri Somerville and receiving strong displays from forwards Steph Kershaw and Mariah Williams, the Hockeyroos were not able to capitalise on their 21 circle entries and seven penalty corner opportunities.
“It was a disappointing loss tonight. We just weren’t physical enough and we didn’t finish up front,” Hockeyroos captain Jodie Kenny said post-match.
“It’s disappointing but we’ll have a lot to learn from that game and the thing is, we’ve got to do that really quickly because we come out again tomorrow (Saturday).”
After starting in aggressive fashion, Argentina took the lead through Julieta Jankunas’ unstoppable tomahawk strike that thundered beyond Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch’s near post.
The Hockeyroos created two set piece opportunities to end the first quarter, but the visitors continued to attack and Lynch was called to jump off her line and make a diving block to deny Micaela Retegui after 27 minutes.
The second term ended in the same vein as the first, with the Hockeyroos unable to breach the defences of Argentina goalkeeper Christina Cosentino.
Ashlee Wells replaced Lynch in goal at half time and the home side took control in the third quarter as the visitors were reduced to ten players, with Cosentino’s outstretched left boot turning one effort from Grace Stewart round the post to save the Pan American champions.
The Argentinians’ disciplined defensive display ultimately thwarted the Hockeyroos, with the result sealed when Agustina Gorzelany buried a low penalty corner flick in the final quarter.
In game number 50, Kalindi Commerford had a late effort well saved before sending the rebound slapshot wide.
Despite the defeat, the Hockeyroos remain in fourth position on the Pro League table with nine points and will be out to reverse the result on Saturday
Argentina 2 (Jankunas 14’, Gorzelany 48’)
@ Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University
Hockeyroos: 1.Sophie Taylor, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Ashlee Wells (gk), 7.Jodie Kenny (c), 9.Lily Brazel, 11.Karri McMahon, 13.Edwina Bone, 14.Stephanie Kershaw, 15.Kaitlin Nobbs, 16.Gabi Nance, 18.Jane Claxton, 20.Karri Somerville, 21.Renee Taylor, 23.Kalindi Commerford, 24.Mariah Williams, 27.Rachael Lynch (gk), 30.Grace Stewart, 31.Laura Barden
Argentina: 2.Sofia Toccalino, 3.Agustina Gorzelany, 5.Agostina Alonso, 7.Giselle Kanevsky (c), 9.Priscila Jardel, 13.Cristina Cosentino (gk), 15.Maria Granatto, 18.Victoria Sauze, 19.Agustina Albertarrio, 21.Victoria Granatto, 22.Eugenia Trinchinetti, 23.Micaela Retegui, 28.Julieta Jankunas, 29.Victoria Miranda, 32.Valentina Costa, 38.Maria Cerundolo, 40.Maria Forcherio
Unused Substitute: 36.Mariana Scandura (gk)