Hockey: Ireland in narrow defeat to Argentina as test commences in Dublin

Eugene Magee.
Eugene Magee.

IRELAND 1 ARGENTINA 2.

It was always going to be a competitive fixture when Argentina rolled into town and match one of this three-match series did not disappoint.

Argentina, the world number six side, edged the encounter in a 2-1 victory but both sides had missed opportunities that suggest the final two matches of the series will see an even higher tempo.

Ireland earned a penalty corner within the first 60 seconds, and though the drag shot went wide the men in green dominated the opening minutes of the encounter.

Both sides played it relatively safe in the opening quarter but the pace increased as the match progressed and a rasping shot from an Argentinian PC was well saved by David Harte.

The opening goal came courtesy of a blistering shot by Argentina’s Peillat at the top of the circle from a PC.

But it didn’t take long for the Green Machine to draw level. Lee Cole stole the ball on the base line and showed great composure to score to level the game going into half time.

The second half saw more chances for Ireland as Kyle Good made two darting runs in quick succession and Robson and Cole forced saves from Santiago.

Eugene Magee earned himself a green card before the end of the quarter for breaking down the play but both defences were disciplined throughout with just one card per team, a green for Brunet in the 33rd minute. Argentina took the lead in the 54th minute when David Harte was drawn from his goal to make the save but the umpire deemed it to be a foul and awarded the penalty stroke, which Gilardi converted after sending Harte the wrong way.

The final chance of the match went to Ireland when Kyle Good and Neal Glassey linked up well but there was nobody on the post to deflect home the ball as it was fired across the face of the goal.

Ireland next meet Argentina on Friday evening at 7:45pm in Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club.