Pictured: Canterbury’s Cassandra Reid, courtesy Hernan Barrios
The Black Sticks Women are frustrated that they played so well yet couldn’t pull off a win in their final game against Argentina in Rosario today.
Argentina’s Delfina Merino was the only goal scorer of the match.
The second half was some of the best hockey that the New Zealanders had played during the five test series and a win today would have given the Kiwis a rare series victory against the World No 2.
“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,” said head coach Mark Hager.
Game captain Katie Glynn had the best chance in the first half when she received a pass from Krystal Forgesson and striked, but it hit the cross bar and Argentina took possession.
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 full time, one was mistrapped and the other two were cleared by Argentina’s goalkeeper.
“Overall, this has been a really pleasing tour. We needed to score goals from the chances that we created, but a tour like this is fantastic development for new younger players in the team, it’s been really positive,” said Hager.
“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,” said Hager.
The Four Nations is being played in Whangarei, Hamilton and Tauranga and is from 10-21 April.
Stand out players from today were Glynn, Forgesson and Cassandra Reid.
The Black Sticks return to New Zealand at midnight tomorrow.
Argentina 1 (Delfina Merino), New Zealand 0. HT: 1-0.
Previous results from series
First game: 4-1 (Argentina win)
Second game: 1-1
Third game: 4-1 (New Zealand win)
Fourth game: 3-3
Fifth game: 1-0 (Argentina win)