A 0-0 draw has seen Argentina win a best of four series 2-1 against the Hockeyroos in Australia.
For the Hockeyroos players, this series was their last chance to impress coach Adam Commens prior to the Champions Trophy squad being selected fro the tournament in the Netherlands from June 25
After Friday’s 1-0 loss, Argentina took to today’s game looking to make amends and immediately applied pressure on the Hockeyroos defence.
The visitors were awarded an early penalty corner and looked to capitalise on their momentum, however their penalty corner shot was run down before it put Hockeyroos goalkeeper under pressure and the ball was cleared to safety.
[img_assist|nid=1789|title=|desc=Hockeyroo Kellie White v Argentina – Kangaroo Images|link=node|align=left|width=300|height=205]By mid-way through the half the Hockeyroos had settled well, and took their chance to go on the offensive when they were awarded their first penalty corner of the match which was taken by emerging penalty corner specialist Jodie Schulz. However much like the Hockeyroos defence Argentina were adamant on applying as much pressure as possible to the shot, denying Schulz a good shot at the goals with the score remaining 0-0.
Despite the Hockeyroos finding their share of the ball Argentina still looked very dangerous when entering their circle, and if not for some great efforts by Rachael Lynch in goals Australia could have found themselves behind on the scoreboard at half time.
After the half time break the Hockeyroos were given the first real scoring opportunity when Jade Close found space alone in the circle, however the shot on goal went just over the crossbar.
When Kobie McGurk received a green card the Hockeyroos found themselves a player down for two minutes and Argentina almost made them pay immediately, receiving a penalty corner within that two minutes. However once again goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was up to the task and produced another great save.
It seemed the Hockeyroos had finally broken through for a goal when a fast pass found Ashleigh Nelson in the circle, but her deflection sailing just left of goal.
Argentina were also not without their chances when on a penalty corner attempt with seven minutes remaining the ball deflection off an outstretched Rachael Lynch and clipping the top of the crossbar.
Both teams were frantic in the final minutes and when the Hockeyroos were awarded a penalty corner with 15 seconds remaining, the stage was set for a memorable finish. However it wasn’t to be with the shot on goal chased down ending the game at 0-0.
Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens said the most pleasing part of the series was the fact that the Hockeyroos didn’t concede a goal in the final two matches against such a quality team.
“I think it was a really promising series and I think we have progressed since we were last in Argentina. I think they have progressed as well mind you and there was some really encouraging performances . One of the things I would like to highlight is that they are probably the best attacking team in the world and they haven’t scored against us in the last 140 minutes of hockey. It’s a great effort from our defence,” said Commens.
“I think it showed that we have good depth. The Australia A team were really competitive with Argentina and that is our second side competing with the world champions which was marvellous. I think the other encouraging thing was that we are able to dominate games against such a talented opponent and able to create chances rather than just defend and create the odd chance on the counter attack,” said Commens.