Hockey: Black Sticks women lose opener to Argentina

NZ hockey player Katie Glynn. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
NZ hockey player Katie Glynn. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

The New Zealand women's hockey side have begun their five-match series against Argentina with a 4-1 loss in Rosario this afternoon (NZT).

A predominantly inexperienced Black Sticks team held their own against the Olympic silver medallists but they were unable to match their clinical finishing, particularly from penalty corners.

Argentina were 3-0 up at halftime after scoring two penalty corners and a field goal. The hosts notched another penalty corner late in the second half, before the Black Sticks scored from a penalty corner variation which saw Anita Punt flick to Gemma Flynn to tap in on the post.

The goal provided some reward for a fighting first up effort on the tour, with coach Mark Hager continuing to blood several young players in a new cycle leading up to the Rio Olympics.

"We created enough opportunities throughout the game, which was pleasing, but we just didn't take our chances," Hager said.

"The Argentina goalkeeper had a great game and I think we lacked a little bit of experience in our penalty corner defence, letting in three penalty corner goals.

"We were really competitive, but they were efficient in scoring the goals and we weren't. We had enough chances to get right in the game but we just didn't make it happen. We will take a lot from it and hopefully put in a better performance in the next game."

Stand-outs for New Zealand were 18-year-old Rose Keddell and veteran striker Katie Glynn, who captained the side in her 100th international test match.

The second test is tomorrow at midday (NZT).

Result from the first women's hockey test match between Argentina and New Zealand in Rosario, Argentina today:

Argentina 4 New Zealand 1 (Flynn)

HT: 3-0

- APNZ

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