Argentina have beaten Australia 3-0 in the final of the six nations women’s hockey tournament in New Zealand on Sunday.
Despite the convincing scoreline, the gold medal match was closely contested, with Australia applying early pressure as they dominated possession.
Ahead 1-0 at halftime courtesy of Rocia Sanchez Moccia, Argentina upped the tempo in the second spell, stringing together some fluid phases of play that often left Australia scrambling in Hastings.
Delfina Merino capped off a series of slick passes downfield to double the lead before the Australians mounted a fightback.
Despite creating some good chances, they fell further behind after Carla Rebecchi capitalised on a defensive lull to give the world No.2 Argentinians a 3-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
“Today was a disappointing result for us. We came into the match fairly confident that we had improved since our first match against Argentina,” said Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens.
“The first half was good, we created some chances to score and we kept the match fairly even.”
“The second half lacked physicality that we have previously shown throughout the tournament with our basic skill decisions deserting us today.
“Argentina are a world class team who have maintained consistency throughout their matches at this tournament.”
New Zealand finished fourth in the tournament, falling 3-2 to China in the bronze medal match.
The Black Sticks knocked in first-half goals to Petrea Webster and Rose Keddell, but couldn’t hold out the quick and skilful Chinese, who scored in the first minute to put the Kiwis under pressure.
In the play-off for fifth and sixth, South Korea beat Japan 2-1.