Olympic Games viewers have slammed Argentina's female hockey team after a controversial moment in their loss to Australia's Hockeyroos in Tokyo.
Australia, who emerged from a scathing external review with a new coach in Katrina Powell just four months ago, beat Argentina 2-0 on Saturday to make it five wins from five pool games.
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Powell's side were all but assured of top spot in Pool B at the outset of Saturday's clash, needing only to avoid a rout of unthinkable proportions.
Tensions flared after three scoreless quarters, but Savannah Fitzpatrick broke the deadlock in the 49th minute then created another goal for prolific veteran Emily Chalker.
Fitzpatrick's goal came after a defensive error from Argentina, who had controversially brought the game to a halt moments earlier by calling for a dubious video review as the opposition attacked.
The Hockeyroos looked to be in a terrific position to score on the fast break only for the game to stop after what many judged to be a contentious act of gamesmanship from the Argentinians.
“You know what, this is a tactical if anything referral from (Delfina) Merino. She knew that the Australia were going to go down there and have a shot on goal,” commentator and ex-Hockeyroo Georgie Parker said.
“What they’re asking is if one of the Australian runners broke. That is frustrating, because Australia knows that is because they had a chance down there. There’s no way a trapper can see that.”
Argentina slammed for bad sportsmanship
Co-commentator Alister Nicholson added: “This is clutching at straws. They’re conceding their referral there, they know they’re going to lose it.”
Viewers were left seething over the incident, labelling it as "terrible sportsmanship" by Argentina, who came under fire on social media.
There was a distinct sense that karma was served after the final whistle as the Aussie players reflected on the controversial moment, and their fifth straight win in Tokyo.
"Karma," Jane-Anne Claxton quipped.
"We just said it was probably more of a tactical referral because we had a breakaway and likely to score. That's on each team, they can use their referrals how they wish."
Fitzpatrick, asked about Argentina's video review, noted she was "pretty frustrated" but added that "everything happens for a reason".
"It was really good to get the reward for our hard pressing," she said.
"The job's not done and our most important game is 100 per cent the next one."
Chalker, among the Australians gunning for redemption after being part of the squad that suffered a quarter-final loss at Rio 2016, scored her fifth goal of the tournament with 95 seconds remaining on the clock.
Reigning Pro League goalkeeper of the year Rachael Lynch, who successfully appealed her shock non-selection by the squad's former hierarchy, has conceded just one goal in Tokyo.
Powell, who won Olympic gold in both 1996 and 2000, was appointed coach in March after Paul Gaudoin's resignation.
Former high-performance director Toni Cumpston also resigned amid the fallout of an external review that made 29 recommendations in response to a "dysfunctional" culture.
The review was sparked by claims of body-shaming, bullying and other issues.
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