U.S. ties with Argentina in women’s hockey
“To play the world No. 2 in the first game of the Olympics and come away with a 2-all tie, we are to a degree satisfied,” U.S. coach Lee Bodimeade said.
The game was played in the afternoon rain in Beijing.
“I am not so happy with the result, because first, we were winning five minutes before finishing the game,” Argentine captain Magdalena Aicega said. “When we saw the number of shot corners we had and the number of penetrations we had … we had more than the U.S.A.”
In other games China defeated Spain 3-0 and Japan defeated New Zealand 2-1.
Aicega said there’s no time to worry about the result. Argentina will play Great Britain when pool play resumes Tuesday.
“The team have to look forward because it’s the first game, and we had a point,” she said.
The U.S. will play Japan on Tuesday.
Argentina’s Carla Rebecchi scored two goals in the first 12 minutes, and her team threatened to score several more times before the U.S. replied. Keli Smith scored after a penalty corner to cut Argentina’s lead to 2-1 18 minutes into the game. The Americans continued to control play for the remainder of the first half, but they missed on their next two penalty corners, and Argentina maintained its lead.
U.S. captain Kate Barber said her team remained calm after falling behind.
“We were a little bit on the back foot to start, and Argentina made us pay for that,” she said. “Our team is known to persist throughout the game, regardless of the situation or the time or phase of the game.”
The U.S. had a chance to win, but couldn’t convert after getting a penalty corner in the final minute. That opportunity, and the many stops the Americans made on Argentina’s penalty corners made Bodimeade think the Americans could have won.
“I’ll take the point,” he said. “We have some work to do.”
In other action Sunday, host China dominated Spain 3-0 in its opener. China’s Fu Baorong scored the first goal of the match in the 17th minute, then Li Hongxia followed with a goal in the 31st minute. Lihua Gao scored the only second-half goal.
Japan defeated New Zealand 2-1 in the first game Sunday. Sakae Morimoto scored the first goal in the 12th minute, then Toshie Tsukui scored five minutes later to make it 2-0. New Zealand’s Jaimee Claxton scored in the 25th minute to end the scoring.
In the late games, top-ranked Netherlands defeated South Africa 6-0 and defending Olympic champion Germany defeated Great Britain 5-1.
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