On the final day of FIH Pro League games hosted in Mendoza it was not a day for the host side as the Leonas after holding a 2-1 lead gave up the bonus point to Belgium on the shootout. On the men’s side four goals from set pieces by Alexander Hendrickx was too much as Belgium controlled the game all the way to the 4-2 score line.

Belgium men leave Mendoza with six points in four games, after splitting two games each with Argentina and  Germany leaving a three-way tie for the top of the standings between India, Germany and Spain who have eight points in four matches. On the women’s side, only the teams in Mendoza have played in Season 4 so it is Argentina that come away with eight points, followed by five a piece for Belgium and Germany. View the latest FIH Pro League standings here.

Argentina vs Belgium (women & men) – Estadio Mendocino de Hockey, Mendoza (ARG)

The Red Panthers will leave Mendoza on a high after coming from behind to tie Argentina 2-2 and then taking the shootout 2-1. It was a cat-and-mouse first half with both rosters balancing a showcase of experience and giving opportunity to their youth. Valentina Costa gave the Leonas the go-ahead in the 30th minute flicking in a well-worked penalty corner routine heading into the break.

Outside of that, the best chance for either team was on a long aerial that put the pressure on the Belgium defence. A poor reception at the top of the circle allowed Maria Jose Granatto to pounce on a quick free hit. She charged into the circle and fired a back-hand ball across the net but Piccard steered it clear with her left boot to give a set up Eugenia Trinchinetti no chance.

After half time, the Leonas swapped out Cristina Cosentino in goal for Ana Dodorico, playing in just her third international, and unfortunately for her, Belgium would take advantage. In the 33rd minute Charlotte Englebert made an impressive 60-meter dash up the field, eliminating one Argentine defender and slipping the ball to Michelle Struijk to beat the second. Sturijk calmly made quick work of Dodorico to tie the game 1-1.

Argentina then had four-straight corners denied. The set piece seemed off as the injection on one was too wide, the pickup of Costa’s flick on another wasn’t smooth, while Tiphaine Duquesne steered another off the line.  

Just before the end of the third quarter Agustina Albertarrio stripped the ball from Hélène Brasseur and fed a wide ball to Julieta Jankunas. From the tight angle Jankunas let a back-hand shot fly and while it was booked to go wide of the goal, Picard got a glove on it and redirected the ball into her own net for a 2-1 Argentina lead.

Good umpire advantage a ball that popped up high in the Argentine circle play on and Ballenghien expertly knocked it, from overhead, down in to the goal to tie the game 2-2.

Once again another Mendoza game was destined for shootouts and Picard was in fine form. Poke tackles on Lucina von der Heyde and Maria Jose Granatto were the two key saves that gave goals from Louise Versavel and Breyne the chance to seal the 2-1 bonus point for Belgium.

Belgium’s Hélène Brasseur was named Player of the Game and said after the match:  “I think we played really well as a team. The whole team deserves this (player of the game) prize because we all fought until the end. We also showed we were really good in shootouts, and we showed we can play really good hockey in a full stadium.”

Rocio Sanchez, captain of Argentina, had familiar feelings about tonight’s result adding: “I think it was a bit like yesterday in our end and in our attacks but I think it was still okay. We have to improve in shootouts but we have a lot of time so we are still feeling good.”

For the men, penalty corner ace Alexander Hendrickx was up to no goo putting away for goals for Belgium in a big 4-2 win over Argentina. Nehuen Hernando, in goal for Argentina, did turn away Hendrickx’s first attempt and John-John Dohmen put the rebound shot wide. Meanwhile, on Argentina’s opening corner it was a clutter of errors as Federico Monja topped the ball on an errant injection and the rebounds were just as dreadful.

Still in the opening quarter a beautiful cross-field aerial eventually landed with the skillful of Gauthier Boccard on the left baseline but his pass across steamed through traffic just missing an open Nicoals de Kerpel. Then, in the 13th minute, Hendrickx had the first of his four, flicking bottom corner to for the 1-0 Belgium advantage before the first break.

Some fantastic steal by Bautista Capurro let Hendrickx chasing and a great run into the circle was then picked up by Lucas Vila who finished around Loic van Doren to tie the game 1-1 in the 19th. Hendrickx made it 2-1 before halftime with a low flick, that deflected in stick side of Hernando.

That hat trick came in the third quarter when Hendrickx finished on a penalty stroke after his own penalty corner flick was saved on the line by a defensive foot. Hendickx made it four with another flick to the left of Hernando. Argentina found a consolation goal through Lautaro Ferrero on a penalty corner flick that beat van Doren through the legs. The reigning Olympic champions enjoyed the 4-2 victory to wrap up their FIH Pro League tour in Mendoza.

Hendrickx, Player of the Match, said after the game: “I think it was a hard fought game. In the beginning it was pretty equal but in the end we made the difference by controlling the game and keeping the ball and eventually enjoy the score of 4-2 as a result.”

Disappointment hung in the voice of Argentina’s Maico Casella who said after the game: “It was a really difficult game for us. We made too many mistakes with the ball and we didn’t defend well. We had too many corners against us and they have a really good penalty corner and that was the difference between them and us.”


FIH Pro League – 9 November 2022


Estadio Mendocino de Hockey, Mendoza (ARG)

Result: Women’s Match 6

Argentina 2, Belgium 2 (1-2 Shootout)

Player of the Game:

Umpires: Federico Garcia (URU), Rachel Williams (ENG), Bruce Bale (ENG-reserve), Catalina Montesino (CHI-video)


Result: Men’s Match 12

Argentina 2, Belgium 4

Player of the Match: Alexander Hendrickx (BEL)

Umpires: Tyler Klenk (CAN), Bruce Bale (ENG), Federico Garcia (URU-reserve), Rachel Williams (ENG-video)


Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


In territories where broadcast rights agreements are not in place, fans can watch live match action from the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app.