Rio 2016 : India Men reach Quarters beating Argentina 2-1 in Hockey
India’s defeat to Germany — with a deciding goal conceded conceded in the last 3 seconds, less than 24 hours back, must have been painful for Indian players as it was for us fan. But if the India team did well to leave all that behind when it took the ground against the highly skilled and quick Argentines. In what was an exhilarating exhibition of defending against an Argentine onslaught that came in waves, India played top-level #hockey to avenge back-to-back defeats to the South American Champions, including one at the recent Champions Trophy.
The Argentines were also under pressure from their crowd stated getting anxious, and a few Brazilians in the stands joined the motley Indian crowd of fans more to needle their neighbouring football-rival than any special love for India.
Chinglensana scored the opening goal for India in the eighth minute and the lead was doubled in the third quarter by another Manipuri -Kothajit Khadangbam.
Similar to their second game against Germany on Monday, in which India faltered and conceded a last-gasp goal to concede the game, the team again played a nervous final quarter with Argentina reducing the deficit via penalty corner goal by Gonzalo Peillet early in Q4.
With less than eight minutes to go, Argentina earned a number of penalty corners but India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made three brilliant saves to deny drag-flick specialist Peillet. India just about managed to stave off Argentina to register a close win. This is the first time India have beaten Argentina since 2009.
With this win, India is certain to reach in Quarterfinals but will be looking to get a higher group position than the current third rank.