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Argentina struggle to overcome South Africa
15 Apr 2005 08:02

Argentina 5 defeated South Africa 2
Goals: Argentina - Luciana Aymar 21m, Magdalena Aicega 40m 51m 70m, Carla Rebecchi 48m; South Africa - Marsha Marescia 16m, Candice Forword 29m 

Report by Graciela H. Ortiz 

The Argentina women’s team came from behind on Wednesday to defeat South Africa 5-2 in their first Test under new coach Gabriel Minadeo at the Club Ciudad de Buenos Aires. 

In the first of four Test between the teams, the visitors surprised a depleted Argentina, which showed some defensive problems in the first half, opening the score in the 16th minute through Marsha Marescia from a corner deflection. But five minutes later, best player of the world Luciana Aymar equalized also from a penalty corner. 

However, Argentina had problems to control play as 10 key players on the South American side were absent - Inés Arrondo (injured); keeper Mariela Antoniska (not summoned); Soledad García, Cecilia Rognoni, Mercedes Margalot (all playing in Holland); Mariana González Oliva (in Germany); Ayelén Stepnik, Alejandra Gulla and María Paz Ferrari (in Spain) and María de la Paz Hernández (in Italy). 

Then, Minadeo lined up with young players, some of them making their debut with the Argentine jersey. 

Meanwhile, the visitors put up a solid midfield line, tightened their mark over Aymar and took advantage of a counter-attack to take a 2-1 lead in the 29th minute by substitute Candice Forword. 

Things changed after half-time as Minadeo replaced Romina Vatteone by Amalia Cerutti on the right side of defence, while the Argentine midfielders kept the pace in that zone. 

Argentina returned to their usual dominant attitude, controlling the match until the final whistle. 

Argentina demonstrated excellent effectiveness from penalty corners, scoring four goals from five, in the second half. The other hit South Africa's right post. 

Captain Magdalena Aicega equalised, five minutes after the break, with a powerful corner shot. 

In the 48th minute, Carla Rebecchi deflected a strong corner hit by Claudia Burkart to put Argentina in the lead. 

Aicega sealed the victory with two more goals from corners, in the 51st and 70th minutes. 

Both squads will play again on Thursday at the same time and venue.

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