A brave Indian women’s hockey team lost a 2-3-goal lead to Olympic silver medalists Argentina in the second match of the double league FIH Pro League tie on Sunday. Argentina won the FIH Pro League crown, with 42 points from 16 games, 10 ahead of second-placed Netherlands, who still have two games left. The Indians finished third in the standings with 24 points from 12 games in their first season. In the first match on Saturday, the Indians put on an impressive performance, beating Argentina 2-1 in a shootout after a 3-3 break in regulation time.
Their confidence soared after a resounding victory the day before, India continued to do so and put initial pressure on Argentina’s defense.
Not only in the attack, the Indians also put up a stellar performance in the backline, at least in the first two quarters the defense led by Swetha Poonia thwarted several Argentine attacks.
Both teams fought teeth in the first quarter but failed to break the deadlock.
It was India who counter-attacked in the 23rd minute with Saleema Tete, scoring a quick shot in defense of Argentina, before the shot was taken by opposing goalkeeper Balin Sochi.
Three minutes later, Indian custodian Swetha made a great save to maintain his team’s lead. A cross from the left found Julieta Jankanas in space and tried to get the ball inside, but Swetha quickly changed direction to make a huge save.
Argentina then took three shots on goal but failed to overtake Swetha.
After the change of end, Argentina attacked and controlled the game for most of the third quarter.
The Indians struggled to keep up with the pace of the Argentine players and the game was mostly centered inside the Indian half.
In the 37th minute, Swetha again helped Jankanas by refusing to close.
But Argentina could not be denied a minute later when Delphine Thom did enough to loop the ball over Swetha, who was pulled from the right by Sofia Tocalino’s brilliant run.
India soon won a penalty corner but Adita missed the opportunity.
Argentina then took a 3-1 lead with two goals from three penalty corners in the space of three minutes.
Eugenia Tranchetti scored the first goal in the 41st minute and then two minutes later the last match hat trick scorer Augustina Gorzelini scored from another set piece.
But India were not in the mood to give up without a fight as three minutes later, Deep Grace Eka scored from the penalty corner with a powerful slap to make the margin 2-3.
The Indians played their heart out till the final hitter and in the 55th minute, Vandana Kataria came close to equalizing with a counter attack but her reverse hit was saved by Sookie.
The next match of the Indian team will be against the United States on June 21 and 22.
Topics covered in this article