Netherlands edge Argentina again

It required another shootout to split the difference between the Netherlands and visiting Argentina women. This time, a 3-2 sudden death shootout gave the Dutch the two-game sweep of the weekend and, more importantly, it denied the Leonas the early chance of being the FIH Pro League champions.

It was another fast-paced and energetic start to the match and this time a 27th minute penalty corner finish from Netherlands flicker Yibbi Jansen was all that separated the teams by half time.

It was a strong baseline run from Laurien Leurink looking for Frédérique Matla that gave the Dutch an important penalty corner opportunity in the second quarter but Matla’s flick went wide of the right post. The Netherlands nearly scored in free play minutes later as Margot van Geffen fed Xan de Waard but the reverse-stick shot pinged off Belen Succi’s post. Finally Jansen was able to slot the ball home on a penalty corner moments before half time.

In the third quarter the Leonas had a penalty corner chance to draw level. A miss hit out left Rocio Sanchez to strike and keeper Josine Koning was there to deny a tip from Julieta Jankunas at the far post. With minute to go in the quarter, Argentina’s high press paid off. Agustina Albertarrio found the reverse stick of Jankunas but the deflection was saved well by Koning. Play resulted in a penalty corner and then like a day before, Maria Granatto’s sliding reverse stick deflection from Agustina Gorzelany drew the game 1-1.

Neither team could find the back of the net through the fourth quarter sending the game to a shootout for the second-straight day. Following a 2-2 draw in the opening round, Albertarrio’s back-hand shot was saved by the glove of Koning and Sanders finished in sudden death to give the Dutch the extra point.

Netherlands’ Felice Albers was Player of the Match and commented after the game: ‘It’s a tough game against Argentina. I think we played better than yesterday. We hoped we could score the two goals but unfortunately, they scored and it was 1-1 and we went to shootouts but we have a great goalkeeper. We are together a short time and we have a lot to improve before the World Cup.’

Argentina’s Agostina Alonso added about Argentina’s weekend: ‘We are really happy with Argentina’s performance this game and last game. I think we did a really good job and we faced a really tough team as Netherlands is. We are happy to get two points out of the weekend. Sure, we need to improve and keep training a lot of things but we made a really good trip the last three weeks. We grew a lot as a group.’