[img_assist|nid=1576|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=86|height=100]LONDON, July 31 – USA repeated their 2011 Pan American Games victory against Argentina with a 1-0 win in the second round of pool matches at the Riverbank Arena on Tuesday, only their second win against Argentina in major international competition.
The match started evenly but Florencia Habif wasted a very good chance for Argentina in the 11th minute, failing to get good contact on the ball when right in front of goal.
Martina Cavallero thought she had scored in the 23rd minute, but Amy Swensen’s block knocked the ball up on to her thigh and the umpire ruled that no goal had been scored.
USA won their first penalty corner in the 27th minute but Florencia Mutio got down well to her right to block Claire Laubach’s low flick.
Minutes later though, the USA took the lead when Michelle Vittese played the ball into the Argentina circle from the left and Shannon Taylor found space at the far post between Noel Barrionuevo and Mutio to deflect the ball high into the goal and make it 1-0.
SwensenN was back in action in the final minute of the first half, blocking both Barrionuevo’s flick and Carla Rebbecchi’s rebound at Argentina’s first penalty corner, to leave the score 1-0 at half-time.
USA also had a half-time lead (3-1) in their 2011 Pan American Games victory, and started the second half by winning their second penalty corner of the match off Macarena Rodriguez Perez’s leg.
Goal scorer Taylor’s strike went close, but USA followed it up with more pressure on the Argentina circle and earned a further two penalty corners, Laubach and Taylor both having shots blocked by the Argentina defence.
Following USA’s series of penalty corners, Carla Rebecci and Cavallero were the principal figures in a period of sustained pressure from Argentina. Cavallero broke into the circle down the right and earned a penalty corner off Julia Reinprecht, but Silvia D’Elia’s shot went wide of the USA goal.
Argentina got a second penalty corner four minutes later and SWENSEN had to push Rebecchi’s flick around her left post. The pressure continued, and with six minutes to go Rebecchi ran into the USA circle and evaded the challenge of Lauren Crandall, but sent her reverse stick shot over the crossbar.
Argentina’s final attempt to get something from the match came in the final minutes when they replaced Mutio with another outfield player, Delfina Merino taking her place behind the USA 23m line. The move didn’t work however and USA held on for a surprise 1-0 victory.
Argentina captain Luciana Aymar said: “In the first half we had little confidence. In the second half we had much more confidence. We tried everything we could to score but the ball just wouldn’t go in.
“They were very physical, they played man-to-man marking, a style we did not like. They made a lot of fouls around the area which was effective,” said the seven time world player of the year.
“We will take the positives, we have experienced cases like this. We are fortunate it has happened early in the tournament. This is just one game, we will forget about this game and focus on the next,” she said.