The Vantage Black Sticks Women just fell short in the last minutes, falling 3-2 to world #3 Argentina in their final real Four Nations Cup match, in Munich.

Argentina have often been a challenging team for the Black Sticks Women in recent years, with tours by both teams to each others countries in 2017 and 2018 meaning there is a fair amount of familiarity when the sides play head-to-head.

It was in Munich where the South American side went up 1-0 after a Martina Cavallero penalty corner in only the 3rd minute. The previous two matches of this pre-World Cup tour had seen the New Zealand Women start well and score early.

Always a contrast in styles when these two teams play, the match was quick and entertaining for fans as the match remained at 1-0 until half time.

It took the Black Sticks 9 minutes into the second half to break the Argentinians down with a Madi Doar deflected goal from an Olivia Merry slap shot penalty corner to get New Zealand on the board.

Late in the 3rd quarter Anita McLaren was green carded by the referee, only to come back on a minute into the fourth and score her 104th goal in the black singlet, taking the Black Sticks into the lead.

That lead was short lived with Argentina striking back a mere 2 minutes later with a Delfina Merino field goal to tie the match up at 2 a-piece.

It was a close finish in Munich when Argentina pulled off their goalkeeper with six minutes to play. The Black Sticks probably should have scored when the kicking back was struck on the leg in the circle, conceding a somewhat controversial penalty corner as the ball hit the back side of her stick.

The New Zealand team failed to capitalise and were stung by a late goal from Argentina's Noel Barrionuevo through a penalty stroke, which sealed them with a 3-2 victory.

"A mixed team performance against the number 3 in the world. We have to better handle their fast paced game which troubled our defence at times today", said Sean Dancer, Assistant Coach.

"While Argentina dominated good portions of the game with their pace and skill, we did have periods of dominance ourselves, especially the third quarter, so it was a close match.

"It was the hottest day we've played in so far, so that was quite challenging for both teams as well. It's been an excellent tournament. We couldn't have asked for better to prepare us for the World Cup".

The Vantage Black Sticks Women will have a day off tomorrow to recover, then head to London on Monday (UK time) to play their opening match of the Vitality Women's World Cup 2018 against Belgium on July 22. New Zealand games will be live on SKY TV. Final TV schedule and times to be confirmed.

Matches at the real Four Nations Cup were live streamed and replays can be found at http://sportdeutschland.tv/
CLICK HERE for more information and full Vantage Black Sticks Women's squad
CLICK HERE for the Vitality Women's Hockey World Cup schedule

VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 2 (Maddison Doar 39', Anita McLaren 46')

ARGENTINA: 3 (Martina Cavallero 3', Delfina Merino 48', Noel Barrionuevo 58')

Half Time: ARG 1-0


- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ