FIH Pro League: India outclass Olympic champions Argentina

India got three goals past Argentina as they continued their build-up to the Tokyo Olympics with a clinical performance.

The Indian hockey team continued their great build-up to the Tokyo Olympics by beating champions Argentina 3-0. (Image credit: Hockey India)
By Siddharth vishwanathan | Apr 12, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Indian hockey team continued their magnificent build-up to the Tokyo Olympics with a brilliant display against Argentina. India was boosted by three goals from Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Mandeep Singh as they defeated the 2016 Rio Olympic champions 3-0. Harmanpreet scored in the 11th minute and Upadhyay increased their advantage in the 25th minute. Mandeep put the result beyond doubt as India showed their intent. 

Argentina got off to a great start, raiding the Indian circle in numbers. Krishan Bahadur Pathak, made three brilliant saves in the first quarter to deny the hosts from taking the lead. Forwards Macio Casella and Martin Ferrerio’s efforts from close range were expertly pushed away by Pathak. 

India gradually found their feet in the contest with Rajkumar Pal testing Argentina’s veteran goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi. In the 11th minute, Harmanpreet scored his third goal in two days, drilling a penalty corner away from Vivaldi’s left and into the corner of the net. 

Brilliant stuff from India

The second quarter saw the Indian defense having little trouble seeing keeping the Argentinian attackers at bay. The visitors doubled their lead with a delightful field goal five minutes before the end of the first half. Vivaldi had initially saved Gurjant Singh’s shot after Lalit set him up with a determined run inside the Argentinian circle. Lalit, though, was quick to pounce on the rebound to give India a 2-0 lead. 

In the third quarter, India’s high-intensity pressing continued to force Argentina into making mistakes. They dominated possession and swarmed all over the Argentinian defence by regularly finding space behind the full-backs. India bagged their third goal two minutes before full time. Shamsher Singh found Mandeep, who tucked the ball into the net despite losing his balance. Pathak deservedly earned a clean sheet while Rajkumar, Shamsher and Hardik Singh put in excellent displays for their side. 

India will play two more friendly matches against Argentina on 13th and 14th April 2021 in Bueno Aires. After that, India will resume their FIH Pro League matches against Great Britain on 8th and 9th May 2021.