Indian ladies lose thriller to Argentina B


Buenos Aires, January 25

The Indian women’s hockey team suffered its second consecutive loss on the tour of Argentina, going down 2-3 to the hosts’ B side on Sunday.

Salima Tete (6th) and Gurjit Kaur (42nd) scored for India while Sol Pagela (25th), Constanza Cerundolo (38th) and Agustina Gorzelany (39th) were the scorers for the home team.

India have tested their core group in the past four matches where they secured two draws (2-2, 1-1) and suffered two narrow losses (1-2 and 2-3) in the ongoing tour.

In the first quarter, India got off to a flying start with a penalty corner in the first minute. An intentional foul by Argentina while defending the PC led to the visiting side being awarded a penalty stroke. However, the goal was saved. Without letting this missed opportunity slow their rhythm, the tourists struck in the sixth minute through the in-form Tete to take the lead.

A slump in India’s defence in the second quarter was capitalised by the experienced home team. Pagela’s 25th minute goal equalised the scoreline at 1-1. The match tilted decisively in Argentina’s favour when India gave away two more goals in the 38th and 39th minutes.

The real challenge for the Indians begins only now — in their upcoming matches this week, the Rani Rampal-led side will face the Argentinean national squad, ranked world No. 2. The Indians are currently ranked No. 9 in the world.

“In the upcoming four matches we will field our best side to see what we can create against the world No. 2 team,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said. “There have been good learnings from these four matches, and I want to see how our main team performs against them.” — TNS, Agencies

Missed opportunities

Chief coach Sjoerd Marijne rued the opportunities the Indians missed. “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,” said coach Sjoerd Marijne. “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,” he added. “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,” he added.

Junior team pips Chile senior side 2-1

Santiago (Chile): The Indian women’s junior hockey team pipped Chile’s senior women’s side 2-1 in their sixth and final match to end the tour unbeaten. Forward Beauty Dungdung scored in the 6th and 26th minutes to give India the win. The Indian team returns to the country with five wins and one draw. PTI



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