- 1India men beat Argentina for the first time after 2009
- 2India suffered a last-gasp loss vs Germany on Monday
- 3India are poised to enter quarterfinals from group B
In less than 24 hours after suffering an agonising defeat against Germany, India bounced back to beat Argentina 2-1 in a men’s Pool B match of the Rio Olympics 2016 hockey competition. The win took India to No. 2 in the points table and a good chance to book a quarterfinal berth.
India rode goals from Chinglensana Singh (8th minute) and Kothajit Singh (35th) to score their second win in three matches. India had beaten Ireland 3-2 in their first match before going down 2-1 to defending champions Germany on Monday.
Argentina had never lost to India since 2009. With a win and a draw, the South Americans were expected to give India a tough fight but they looked off-form for almost three quarters.
Only in the final 15 minutes, Argentina turned on the heat, forcing as many as five penalty corners and scoring from their first through Gonzalo Peillat in the 49th minute. But India defended well, often with all 11 men, to run out deserving winners.
Fourth Indian goal from penalty corner
Chinglensana’s goal was India’s fourth in the tournament from a penalty corner. It had a bit of luck too as the ball was meant for either Rupinder Pal Singh or Raghunath, India’s main drag-flickers.
The Argentina goalie Vivaldi was caught unawares when the ball was picked up by Chinglensana on the top of the Dee and his flat crisp shot at the far post left him off-balance.
Argentina looked quite sloppy with their attacks but came close to scoring in the final seconds of the first quarter. But the woodwork saved India as Manuel Brunet’s shot came off the post.
A defensive error gave India their second goal. Ramandeep’s long pass found several strikers inside the Argentine Dee. A bad clearance left Kothajit with a simple strike at the goal.
Argentina forced five short-corners in a spate of three minutes in the final quarter. Peillat scored with a smashing hit that gave Sreejesh no chance. But the Indian captain brought off a couple of good saves in the final minutes to prevent another Germany-like mishap.