The Indian males’s hockey staff slumped to its third defeat within the FIH Professional League, dropping 1-3 to Argentina within the shoot-out within the first leg match after each the groups had been tied 2-2 on the finish of the regulation time on the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday.
Gurjant Singh (thirty eighth minute) and Mandeep Singh (sixtieth) had been the aim scorers for India, whereas Argentina’s objectives got here from the sticks of Nicolas Acosta (forty fifth) and Nicolas Keenan (52nd).
It was a horrible shoot-out from Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist India as solely Harmanpreet Singh scored, whereas Abhishek, Gurjant and Sukhjeet Singh faltered.
For Argentina, Keenan, Tomas Domene and Lucas Toscani discovered the again of the web within the shoot-out.
By advantage of this win, Argentina secured a bonus level and climbed to fourth place within the standings with 11 factors from 5 video games.
The Indians, alternatively, proceed to occupy the second spot regardless of the loss with 13 factors from seven matches.
Each the edges will lock horns once more within the return leg on Sunday.
The match was a fast-paced, end-to-end affair but it surely was the Indians who had two good openings created by Harmanpreet within the first quarter however the forwardline didn’t ship.
The Argentines quickly had the primary shy on the aim however India custodian Krishan Bahadur Pathak, who returned to the facet after lacking the Spain tie, made a implausible reflex save to disclaim the guests.
Argentina secured the primary penalty nook of the match quickly however wasted the chance as India had been put below a little bit of strain in the direction of the tip of the primary quarter.
The Indians began on the entrance foot within the second quarter and put the Argentine defence below relentless strain.
India’s efforts bore fruit as they secured three consecutive penalty corners however regardless of having Harmanpreet on the pitch, the Los Leonas defended stoutly to disclaim the hosts. The Indians loved one other spell of possession and earned one other penalty nook, this time younger Jugraj Singh stepped up however didn’t get a good connection.
Quickly after, an alert veteran custodian PR Sreejesh got here out of his line to shut down the angle after Harmanpreet misplaced the ball dangerously outdoors the India circle.
Within the first two quarters, the strain from open play was largely from the Indians.
The Indians saved up their strain on the Argentine defence after the change of ends and at last succeeded in breaking the impasse within the thirty ninth minute by way of comeback man Gurjant Singh, who scored a stunning poacher’s aim from an help by Jugraj.
Argentina drew stage within the final minute of third quarter in opposition to the run of play by way of Acosta, whose shot obtained a clumsy deflection from an Indian stick and beat Pathak all finally ends up.
A minute into the fourth quarter, Argentina’s Ferreiro obtained a giant probability to take the lead however Sreejesh closed the angle to avoid wasting his facet.
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Conceding late objectives got here to hang-out India as soon as once more when eight minutes from the ultimate hooter, the house staff defence gave away a penalty nook for an Indian foot contained in the circle. The Indians went for an unsuccessful assessment and from the resultant set piece, Nicolas Keena scored at hand Argentina 2-1 lead.
Two minutes later, Gurjant got here near scoring his second of the day however his shot went agonisingly huge to the left of the aim.
With its again to the wall, a determined India mounted raids after raids on the Argentine defence thereafter and managed to safe one other penalty nook 4 minutes from full time when Jarmanpreet Singh was introduced down contained in the circle.
However as has been the case all all through the night, Argentina’s speeding out has been stellar but once more as they denied Harmanpreet to get a shot.
The Indians, nevertheless, did not lose hope and saved on attacking and from one such counter an opportunist Mandeep, lurking in entrance of the aim, scored after the ball fell in entrance of his stick following a deflection.