The SPAR South African hockey team has opened their Four Nations tour of Argentina with a 3-1 loss to their hosts, in their first match on Wednesday, 23 January.
The in-form Tarryn Bright scored South Africa’s sole goal in the 31st minute, to take her team into half-time at a positive 1-all, following Argentinean Agustina Garcia’s opening goal in the first minute of the encounter.
But the visitors had no response to the talented home side once the game resumed, the top-ranked side consolidating their advantage with two further goals to comfortably win the match.
The senior national squad is in the South American country to gain match experience against three of the world’s best competitors, and the opening result speaks to the difference in quality between the two teams.
According to the International Hockey Federation, as of 18 September, 2007, Argentina is ranked second in the world behind world no. 1, the Netherlands, while South Africa is ranked twelfth.
Also in Argentina for the tournament is Germany (world no. 3) and the United States (no. 11th) for the five-day tournament, which the South African team is participating in, in order for extra preparations in advance of their intended participation in the Beijing Olympic Games.
South Africa’s next encounter is against the USA on Thursday evening, followed by their final round-robin match against Germany on Saturday, after which it will be a fine expression of home talent should they manage to book a place in Sunday’s final.
Fixtures and Results: