India has to play six matches against Argentina during the 16-day tour which also includes two matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League on 11 and 12 April.
Indian men’s hockey team won
The Indian Hockey Team, which arrived in Argentina to take stock of the Olympic preparations, has started with the victory of the tour. In the first practice match, India defeated the Olympic champion 4-3. For Team India, Nilakant Sharma (16th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (28th minute), Rupinder Pal Singh (33rd minute) and Varun Kumar (47th minute) scored goals.
Argentina’s drag flicker Leandro Tolini (35 and 53rd minute) scored two goals while Masseo Casella (41st minute) scored a goal. Both teams started slow in the first quarter but the Indian team showed momentum in the second quarter. Shilanand Lakra laid the foundation for India’s first goal. On his exact pass, Nilakanth, present inside the circle, gave India an edge, beating the Argentine goalkeeper.
Indian team was ahead 2–0 in the first half
After this, India continued to attack and put the opposing team on the backfoot. Argentina responded with India’s aggressive performance and soon gained a penalty corner but experienced shot put PR Sreejesh thwarted the hosts’ effort. India scored a penalty corner in the 28th minute thanks to Dilpreet Singh and a strong shot by Harmanpreet gave the visiting team 2-0.
Argentina made a strong comeback in the third quarter when Tolini converted a penalty corner. India too won a penalty corner soon after, and experienced Rupinder scored a goal to put India ahead 3–1. Argentina, however, reduced India’s lead by scoring another goal thanks to Kasela in the 42nd minute.
India achieved victory on the return of Argentina
Argentina then got another penalty corner but the effort was thwarted by young Indian goalkeeper Krishna Bahadur Pathak. India maintained their lead, performing effectively in the last quarter. Dilpreet secured another penalty corner for India in the 47th minute and Varun, who was returning to the team after a hamstring injury, made a mistake in scoring the goal.
Tolini scored another goal for Argentina in the 53rd minute, but the Indian defense did not allow the hosts to score more goals after that and India won. India will play their second practice match against Olympic champions Argentina on Wednesday. India has to play six matches against Argentina during the 16-day tour which also includes two matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League on 11 and 12 April.
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