Indian women’s hockey team suffered its first defeat on the tour of Argentina when it lost 1-2 to the ‘B’ side of the host, letting Agustina Gorzelany strike late in the match.
Sol Pagella (11th minute) put the Argentina side ahead while Indian forward Salima Tete (54th minute) scored in the final quarter.
However, the Indian defence let Gorzelany score three minutes after finding the equaliser. In the previous matches, India drew 2-2 and 1-1 respectively with the Argentina junior team.
“Today we played against a stronger Argentina squad consisting many of their senior players. This was a perfect practice match for us ahead of next week’s schedule where we play against the senior side. Unfortunately, we conceded a PC goal minutes before the regulation time and this is what we need to manage better,” said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
India began on the back foot with Argentina ‘B’ playing tough, attacking hockey right from the start. Conceding two back-to-back PCs within six minutes of play and putting pressure on the visiting side but the Indian goalkeeper Rajani did well to save the goals.
In the 11th minute, however, a fierce circle penetration and well-timed strike by younger Sol Pagella put the home team ahead by 1-0.
With a strong defence put up by the Argentinian women, PCs were hard to come by for India and circle entries were restricted too. Though India managed to earn a PC in the 23rd minute, dragflicker Gurjit Kaur’s attempt to equalise was well saved by the opposition’s goalkeeper.
It was a battle India had to fight hard against a strong Argentinian forwardline as they earned two more PCs in the 43rd and 51st minutes. But India’s PC defence held sway to ensure the lead was not further extended.
In the 54th minute, when India bagged a PC, an alert Salima Tete swiftly struck the ball off a rebound into the goalpost fetching her team a much-need equaliser.
The sturdy home team upped their ante in the following minutes with a circle penetration that resulted in a PC. This was the deciding moment as an experienced Gorzelany converted the goal in the 57th minute to seal the match.
India will next take on Argentina ‘B’ on Sunday.