Ireland beaten by Argentina in seven-goal thriller

Luke Madeley

Ireland lost their latest Pro League encounter going down 4-3 to Argentina in Antwerp.

Luke Madeley scored twice for Ireland with Alistair Empey getting the third goal.

The scorers for Argentina were Bautista Capurro, Tomas Demene, Nicolas Keenan and Thomas Habif.

Ireland went into this match having only previously beaten Argentina once in their last 16 meetings dating back to 1978 and that included Thursday’s 3-1 defeat in the first of the two games between the sides.

Despite their poor record against the Pumas, Ireland started well.

Daragh Walsh playing his 99th international match for Ireland won the first penalty corner and Luke Madeley’s shot rattled the backboard to give Mark Tumilty’s side the lead.

Argentina equalised early in the second quarter when Capurro burst down the left wing and cut inside the circle and rifled the ball into the roof of the net.

But it didn’t take long for Ireland to regain the lead. From another penalty corner, Madeley was on target again.

Before half-time the Argentinians would level matters for a second time.

Demene converted a penalty corner to make the score 2-2 at the interval.

There were two goals within a minute in the third quarter. Nicolas Keenan gave Argentina the lead, converting a cross from Inaki Minadeo.

However, within sixty seconds Ireland were back level. Ben Walker received a pass from outside the circle and found Empey and he finished well to make it 3-3.

Argentina regained the lead in the 53rd minute from yet another penalty corner.

The ball was sent to Keenan at the far post and his short pass was deflected past Jamie Carr and into the net by Thomas Habif.

Tim Cross won a penalty corner for Ireland in the final seconds, but Madeley’s drag flick was saved by Thomas Santiago’s foot.

'We did enough to win the game'

“We are pretty disappointed with that fourth goal. Our corner defence wasn’t what it should be. Against these teams we can’t continue to make those errors," said Irish coach Mark Tumilty.

“We left that out on the pitch today. We did enough to win that game or at least take it to a shoot-out. We wanted to be more aggressive on the ball and created more chances than we did on Thursday.”

Ireland finish this round of matches against Belgium on Sunday before travelling to London for their final four Pro League games, two each against Great Britain and Germany started on 1 June.

Tumilty added: "I think we stuck to the game plan well this week. We've got to move forward to tomorrow and Lee Valley next week.

“Belgium will be a significant challenge tomorrow. It’s about performance against them then see what we can get out of it. We are making progress, but we need to win these games.”