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FIH Pro League 2023/24: Indian men’s hockey team defeats Argentina 5-4 in shootout

Author : IANS

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Antwerp, May 22 (IANS) Seasoned goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh’s heroics in the shootout saw India pull off a thrilling 5-4 win against Argentina in the European leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 here on Wednesday. Mandeep Singh (11’) and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (55’) scored a goal each for India, while Lucas Martinez (20’) and Tomas Domene (60’) were on the scoresheet for Argentina in regulation time.

Harmanpreet Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, and Abhishek converted their chances while Sreejesh stood tall at the goalpost as India bagged a bonus point.

India got off to a cautious start, not allowing Argentina to make easy forays into the striking circle. The team’s forwards, on the other hand, stitched together a clever strategy that forced the Argentina defenders to make errors.

The tactics worked as Mandeep Singh (11’) gave India a 1-0 lead after scoring from a close range with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. India ended the first quarter with a 1-0 lead.

At the beginning of the second quarter, India made an aggressive start in the opening minutes as they put pressure on Argentina’s defence with constant attacks and enjoyed greater possession of the ball.

However, it was Argentina that equalized through Lucas Martinez (20’) from a penalty corner. India earned a PC with five minutes remaining but failed to capitalize on the opportunity as Harmanpreet’s shot went wide. Going into the half-time, the score was tied at 1-1.

With India trying to find ways to take a lead, the third quarter was entertaining with both teams displaying quick-fire hockey and both stepping up the ante in attack. While no goals came through in the third quarter, there were some tense moments as the score remained tied at 1-1 at the end of the third quarter.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, India started mounting more pressure on Argentina. With constant attacking moves, India took a 2-1 lead through Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (55’).

With a minute remaining, Argentina earned a penalty corner and got back in the game through Tomas Domene (60’), who found the back of the net, to take the match into a shootout as the regulation time ended with a 2-2 draw.

The Indian men’s hockey team will next take on Belgium on May 24.



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