Argentina women's national hockey team celebrate a goal by their team mate Argentina's Luciana Aymar during their women's Group B hockey match against South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Riverbank Arena on the Olympic Park in London July 29, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett)
Britain's hockey face-off with Argentina on Monday gives the higher-ranked hosts a chance to avenge an earlier defeat this year and marks the latest twist in a sporting rivalry stemming from a bloody dispute over a tiny south Atlantic archipelago.
Diplomatic relations between the two nations have soured this year, the 30th anniversary of their brief war over the British-run Falkland Islands, with Buenos Aires pushing hard to have the islands recognized as Argentinean territory.
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Britain has refused to back down, arguing that the destiny of the islands, called Las Malvinas in Argentina, should be decided by their 3,000 inhabitants.
Those bitter territorial tensions have spilled over into the world of sport, with media on both sides of the ocean hamming up the significance of battles on the field of play.
British soccer fans still bear a grudge over Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal - when he punched the ball into the net - which helped Argentina put an end to England's World Cup dreams in 1986, just four years after the Falklands war.
Argentina then touched a nerve in May with a state-supported television advertisement showing a hockey player training in the Falklands. The video ended with the voiceover: "To compete on English soil, we are training on Argentine soil."
Although the player featured in the advertisement, Fernando Zylberberg, did not make Argentina's Olympic hockey squads, Britain accused Argentina of abusing the Games for political purposes.
British Prime Minister David Cameron stirred things up in June warning Argentina that Britain stood "ready and willing to stand up for the Falkland Islanders at any time".
The two teams will play at 1900 local time (1800 GMT) in their first match since Argentina, ranked 9th in the world, beat Britain, world number four, in June.
Britain are tipped to win the match but media attention will likely focus more on politics. The two teams have little history together, having only met three times in Olympic Games, all of which the British side won.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will not attend the Games and media have reported her telling Argentina's 142 Olympic athletes at their send-off not to stage any Falklands protests in London.