In an evenly balanced first half of few chances England held their own, but then defender Karen Brown, making her 300th international appearance, failed to reappear after the interval, suffering from a wrist injury.
England took the lead when a well worked penalty corner was returned to Sixsmith, the injector, who neatly slipped the ball past the Argentine goalkeeper Paloa Vukojicic.
England's coach Maggie Souyave, while disappointed that they did not share in the $5,000 (pounds 2,900) prize money - awarded for the first time in a women's event - was encouraged by the team's progress. She noted, however, that their finishing needed to improve, prior to next month's World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe.
Australia's 4-0 win against Korea for the gold medal was a repeat of their Atlanta Olympic final success, leaving the host nation in third place. The Dutch beat Canada 3-1 to take second place.
ENGLAND: H Rose (Univ. of Mass.); K Brown (Slough); J Empsom (Canterbury), K Bowden (Leicester), L Copeland (Slough); M Nicholls (Slough), M Davies (capt, Sutton Coldfield), L Wright (Olton Terraquest); J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), T Cullen (Hightown), J Smith (Slough). Substitutes: D Marston- Smith (Clifton), P Miller (Leicester), C Voss (Leicester), J Mould (Leicester).
ARGENTINA: P Vukojicic; M Aicega; S Corvalan, A Gambero, G Liz; A Stepnik, O-M Gonzalez, M Castelli; K Masotta capt, M Margalot, L Aymar. Substitutes: P Sciovanni, V Oneto.
Umpires: A van Dyk (Canada) and Y Kazuko (Japan).Reuse content