Hockey: Black Sticks women fall short

Canterbury's Cassandra Reid in today's game. Photo / Hernan Barrios
Canterbury's Cassandra Reid in today's game. Photo / Hernan Barrios

The New Zealand women's hockey team fell agonisingly short of creating history when they were beaten 1-0 by Argentina in the final test in Rosario today.

The Black Sticks had been chasing a rare series against the Olympic silver medallists but Argentina's win meant they won the five-match series 2-1 - two games were drawn.

Argentina's Delfina Merino scored the only goal of the match and the Kiwis were left frustrated after playing some of the best hockey of the series in the second half.

"It was similar to the last game in that we had a messy first half and Argentina put us under pressure, but in the second half we were much more controlled and we had many chances to score and win the game,'' coach Mark Hager said.

Katie Glynn, who was captaining the side for the day, had the best chance in the first half when she hit the crossbar with her shot.

The Black Sticks were tight on defence and pushed forward on attack in the second spell resulting in three penalty corners, including one right on fulltime - one wasn't trapped cleanly and the other two were cleared by Argentina's goalkeeper.

"Overall, this has been a really pleasing tour,'' hager said. "We needed to score goals from the chances we created but a tour like this is fantastic development for new younger players in the team. It's been really positive.

"The good thing is that Argentina are coming to New Zealand in April to play us again in the Four Nations tournament, along with United States and Korea, so it will be game-on again then. If we get good vocal home crowds along to watch us, that could make that little bit of difference to our performance.'' The Four Nations is being played in Whangarei, Hamilton and Tauranga from April 10-21.

Argentina 1 (Delfina Merino)
New Zealand 0
HT: 1-0.


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