England’s men and women both suffered defeats against Argentina in Buenos Aires in their first FIH Pro League double header of the weekend.
Following victories against Spain earlier this month, the men – captained by Tom Sorsby for the first time – were hoping to make it three in a row against Argentina but goals from Matias Rey and Federico Monja saw the 2016 Olympic champions emerge 2-0 victors.
At the Cenard, Rey scored in the fifth minute of play, while Monja’s PC deflection sealed the match. England had their chances both in open play and on several corners but Sam Ward couldn’t beat ‘keeper Tomas Santiago.
Goalkeeper James Mazarelo made his senior debut for England alongside Tim Nurse, while Jack Turner played his first games for England since 2017.
In the women’s game, corner threat Agustina Gorzelany and Julieta Jankunas both scored twice as Las Leonas continued their rich vein of form.
Delfina Thome also scored as they won 5-2, with Hollie Pearne-Webb – making her 200th international appearance – and Ellie Rayer bagging England’s goals.
Ever-present Anna Toman played her 100th combined international match while six players – Darcy Bourne, Holly Hunt, Olivia and Sophie Hamilton, Flora Peel and Alex Malzer – all made their England debuts.
Pearne-Webb said: “This is our first game together as a new group since Tokyo so it’s the first step for us whereas Argentina have had the Pan Am Cup and other FIH Hockey Pro League games. They’re just a little bit ahead of us in terms of their prep.”
Elsewhere, four second half goals by four different scorers propelled Germany men to a 4-2 win over France in Potchestfstroom, South Africa. France scored two late goals to get within one but, in pulling their goalkeeper, conceded a late goal in what was their seventh game in 12 days.