The New Zealand womens hockey team suffered the first loss of their Olympic campaign when they went down 2-1 to world champions Argentina this evening.
The result leaves the Black Sticks with six points after three matches and wanting a good result in their next match, against the United States, to give themselves a solid chance of progressing to the semi-finals.
Argentina opened the scoring in the third minute with a well-taken goal by Carla Rebecchi, who always looked dangerous in open play.
Though the Black Sticks forced a succession of penalty corners they were unable to convert and the Argentinians went further ahead in the 45th minute with another goal by Rebecchi.
However, the game began to turn slightly late in the second half. In the 61st minute, Argentinian Sofia Maccari was sent from the field for two minutes and during that time New Zealand mounted a strong attack down the left.
Gemma Flynn rifled a shot across the goalmouth and Charlotte Harrison nudged it home.
Despite the New Zealand teams best efforts, there were no further goals.
Disappointed New Zealand coach Mark Hager said his team had been a bit shy and apprehensive at the start of the match.
I was proud of how they fought, though, he said. They werent outmuscled and they had their chances. They just couldnt quite convert them.