London 2012: Britain's women defeat Argentina at Olympic Park

Hockey Olympic test event

  • Venue: Riverbank Arena, Olympic Park
  • Date: 2-6 May

Coverage: GB matches live on BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and Radio 5 live sports extra

Great Britain's women produced a fine first-half performance to defeat World Cup champions Argentina 2-0 at the Olympic hockey test event in London.

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This is a great opportunity to prepare and it's working

Alex Danson GB striker

Alex Danson's stunning goal on the spin and Ashleigh Ball's near-post strike earned victory on the Olympic pitch, even though GB missed a penalty stroke.

Britain will play Argentina again in the final of the test event on Sunday.

"It was a brilliant start and hopefully we can do the same again tomorrow," striker Danson told BBC Sport.

"This is a great opportunity to prepare and it's working. This is crucial to our preparation, fingers crossed we can keep getting better and better."

Both goals came in the first half against Olympic bronze medallists Argentina, ranked second in the world,  to whom Britain lost in February's Champions Trophy final.

While that game took place in Argentina, roles were reversed in London as the hosts took the lead after 15 minutes, Danson driving into the area before unleashing an unstoppable reverse-stick shot.

Analysis

GB midfielder Anne Panter:

"The Champions Trophy in Argentina, where they beat us in the final, was a good lesson for us.

"That was a major tournament and this isn't, even though it's important for our preparation. We took a step forward today but there are still steps to take.

"We're one of the top teams in the world, consistently beating other top sides now. Come the Olympics, we want teams to know that coming here, with the crowd on our side, will be tough."

Ball doubled the difference having been fed the ball from a Kate Walsh penalty corner. Argentina complained that Ball's scoring motion had been illegal but the goal stood.

The Argentines lost their cool as the half ended, picking up a number of cards for indiscipline, and Cullen could have made it three from a penalty stroke after the break but pushed her shot wide.

The home side's momentum dipped in the second half, to the consternation of coach Danny Kerry, but goalkeeper Beth Storry led an excellent team defensive performance.

Britain produced only their second clean sheet against Argentina in the teams' last 12 encounters as Storry conjured a succession of second-half stops to preserve the advantage.

"The first half we can be proud of. They're missing some key players but we took our game to them," said GB captain Kate Walsh.

Schedule and results

  • Wednesday: GB women 1-0 Korea, GB men 1-3 Germany
  • Thursday: GB women 3-0 China, GB men 4-2 India
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: GB women 2-0 Argentina, GB men 3-3 Australia
  • Sunday: Women's bronze play-off (South Korea v China) 0930, women's final (GB v Argentina) 1215, men's bronze play-off (GB v India) 1545, men's final (Australia v Germany) 1830

All times BST.

"In the second half we lost our way a bit and if we look back we'll be disappointed in that."

Kerry said: "After we missed the stroke I was very disappointed. It was about a 40 or 45-minute performance and the game could have got away from us. We have to have 70-minute performances."

Earlier, South Korea's women beat China 2-1 but they finish behind Argentina on goal difference and will hence play China again for bronze.

Argentina's men's hockey team, who are not competing in London this week, have made the news in recent days for a TV advert which controversially showed one of their players training on the Falkland Islands.