Two goals for Julieta Jankunas were enough to help fire Argentina to a 4-2 win against Great Britain in the FIH Pro League in Rosario.
Mark Hager’s side slipped to their third defeat in five matches in the competition whilst victory meant Argentina leap-frogged world number one side Netherlands. With Las Leonas win percentage climbing to 81.48 – just 1.48% percent better than the Dutch’s total, they currently top the standings.
Great Britain spent the majority of the first quarter on the back foot. The stats showed Argentina had 93% possession in the opening 15 minutes. Hollie Pearne-Webb was outstanding in her attempts to keep the home side at bay whilst Maria Granatto squandered two great chances meaning GB went in at the end of the first quarter on level terms.
Great Britain started to creep back into the contest but just when they were starting to piece together some patterns of play they fell behind. Jankunas found space in the circle and fired a precise backhand into the far corner giving Sabbie Heesh no chance.
Undeterred, Great Britain levelled just before the break thanks to a wonderful penalty corner goal from Grace Balsdon.
Parity lasted just a matter of moments into the second half. Jankunkas restored Las Leonas’ lead immediately with another backhand strike. Nicola Cochrane – on as a half time replacement in goal, might feel she could have kept the effort out.
In the second half, every time Great Britain appeared to be building some momentum Argentina managed to swing the balance back in their favour. Giselle Ansley forced a good save from Belen Succi only for Victoria Zuloaga’s penalty corner strike to make it 3-1 to the hosts at the other end.
With four minutes left on the clock Eugenia Trinchenetti twisted and turned down the right hand side before firing in a cross which was deflected up and over Cochrane and into the net by a sliding Maria Granatto.
Sarah Jones gave Great Britain a flicker of hope when she made it 4-2 with a splendid lofted finish but despite a late barrage from the visitors it was too little, too late.
Great Britain now sit in seventh place in the table with their next match coming against Germany – the team directly above them in the standings, on 24 April in Monchengladbach.