Indian women’s hockey team suffer 2-3 loss against Argentina ‘B’
Buenos Aires, Jan 25 (IANS) India women’s hockey team suffered a hard-fought 2-3 defeat against dominant Argentina ‘B’ in their latest encounter on the ongoing Argentina tour.
For Argentina ‘B’, goals were scored by Sol Pagela (25′), Constanza Cerundolo (38′) and Agustina Gorzelany (39′) while for Salima Tete (6′) and Gurjit Kaur (42′) scored for India.
In the first quarter on Sunday, it was India who got off to a flying start winning a penalty corner in the first minute. An intentional foul by Argentina while defending the penalty corner led to the visiting side being awarded a penalty stroke.
Unfortunately for India, the goal was saved. Without letting this missed opportunity slow their rhythm, the Indian team struck in the 6th minute through young Tete who has been in good nick this tour.
“We had a very good start to the match and though we couldn’t score off the penalty stroke, we were able to convert after a good interception in the 6th minute. In the first quarter, we were in control and kept a check on Argentina but the second quarter, they upped their game,” explained head coach Sjoerd Marijne.
A slump in India’s defence in the second quarter was well-capitalised by the experienced home team. Sol Pagela’s 25th minute goal equalised the scoreline to 1-1. But the game tilted in their favour when India gave away two goals in the 38th and 39th minute.
“I believe these two goals could have been stopped. We had restricted their circle entries to just 5 in this quarter but allowed them to convert twice in those five attempts. Though Gurjit scored in the following minutes to reduce the lead by one goal, we missed some good scoring opportunities thereafter. I feel we were a bit too rushed in our pursuit to convert. We must do much better to win from Argentina in the next following matches,” said Marijne.
Playing the Argentina Tour after Covid-19 restrictions kept the Indian team out of competition for a year, Rani and Co. have tested their core group in the past four matches where they secured two draws (2-2,1-1) and suffered two narrow loss (1-2 and 2-3).
In their upcoming matches this week, the Indian side will face Argentina, ranked second in the FIH rankings.