Argentina, the reigning men’s Olympic champions, returned to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League circuit for the first time in just over a year, as they were defeated by Germany.
In the first game of a double-header in as many days, Argentina were beaten 3-2 by their German counterparts in an entertaining affair at the National Centre of High Performance Athletics in Buenos Aires.
Germany took an early lead courtesy of a penalty corner from Christopher Ruhr in the eighth minute.
Four minutes later Jose Tolini scored his first goal of the game for Argentina from a penalty corner to make the score 1-1.
Debutant Luis Gill helped Germany retake the lead in the 29th minute, before Tolini scored his second penalty corner three minutes later to level the contest at 2-2.
With four minutes remaining, the winning goal came for Germany in spectacular style with Constantin Staib picking up the ball with his back to goal before squeezing a shot between his legs into the corner of the net to make it 3-2.
Germany claimed three points courtesy of the win, which moves them to third in the standings, two points behind The Netherlands.
The men’s match between the two countries was followed by the women’s contest between the nations.
This was a cagier affair with fewer scoring opportunities although both teams had chances to win it in regulation time, with Argentina captain Delfina Merino having a goal ruled out and Nike Lorenz missing from the penalty spot for Germany.
The contest finished 0-0 with both teams gaining a point, although a bonus point was up for grabs in the penalty shoot-out that followed.
Argentina won the shoot-out 3-2 thanks to scores from Merino, Maria Forcherio and Agustina Albertarrio.
Argentine keeper Clara Baberi was the hero for the hosts, denying Sonja Zimmermann, Selin Oruz and Lorenz.
After earning two points Argentina strengthen their hold on second place in the overall standings, five clear of third placed New Zealand.
Men’s and women’s fixtures between the two countries are scheduled to take place at the same venue tomorrow.