Argentina complete series sweep over South Africa
19 Apr 2005 21:01
Report by Graciela H. Ortiz
The women's Argentine team completed a sweep of their four-Test series against South Africa as they won 2-1 in the last friendly on Sunday at Ciudad de Buenos Aires pitch.
Thus, Argentina won the World Group Sports Cup, while South Africa received the Friendship Cup. Mariné Russo was awarded as the Best Player of the Tournament.
"The series were positive as the new girls showed good adaptation," Argentina's coach Gabriel Minadeo said.
"We have to train more as most of the new players didn't have no enough time to train together," Minadeo said when talking about the defensive mistakes.
"We are looking for some new faces for the future.”
The series revealed a promising striker like Banfield's Daniela Maloberti, who reminded of Vanina Oneto because of her stamina, power and intuition for goal.
Of course she is still very far of the former Argentine team forward, but at 21 and taking into account that it was her international debut with the Argentine jersey (she had played in an Italian club), she has a brilliant future in Argentina's front line.
Defender Marien Bianchini also put up a good performance, but she needs more security when she is left alone at the back.
The South Americans played a good first half yesterday, producing the best scoring chances while the visiting team had problems to reach their rivals' area.
Argentina opened the score in the 20th minute through a penalty stroke by outstanding Luciana Aymar. The punishment came after a solo play from Maloberti. South African keeper Grazina Engelbrecht knocked her down inside the circle to avoid the goal.
In the last minute, a wonderful shot from Russo from a penalty corner increased the lead for the local side.
Things changed after half time, with the match becoming even and boring.
However, the visitors pushed hard to net and they did it in the 45th minute from a corner deflection by Jennifer Wilson.
But the rest of the half did not offer much for the packed stands and local spectators left home happy with the four Argentine victories (5-2, 1-0, 3-0 and 2-1).
Just as anecdote, former coach Sergio "Cachito" Vigil was watching the match discreetly behind a billboard but after the first half he vanished.
Argentina 2 defeated South Africa 1
Goals: Argentina - Luciana Aymar 20m, Mariné Russo 34m; South Africa - Jennifer Wilson 45m