Rio de Janeiro, Aug 9 (IANS) A gritty India beat Argentina 2-1 in a men’s hockey pool match at Rio Olympics here on Tuesday.
Chinglensana (8th minute) and Kothajit Khadangbam (35th) were the scorers for India. Gonzalo Peillat (49th) reduced the margin for Argentina at the Olympic Hockey Stadium.
It is India’s second win in three Pool B matches, after beating Ireland 3-2 and getting beaten by Germany 1-2.
Both teams started off on a cautious note but it was India’s S.V. Sunil and Ramandeep, who first made a clinical penetrations inside the Argentine defence to take first penalty corner of the match in the opening minutes.
Success came few minutes later when the India got their second penalty corner as Chinglensana fired them into the lead with a powerful strike.
Argentina, however, counter attacked and made a dangerous move into the scoring zone but India deflected the danger and survived the first quarter without surrendering the lead.
In the second quarter, India maintained the tempo and continued to keep ball possession, just like they did in the opening quarter.
Argentina then changed their strategy and slowed down the pace of the game as a result India attacked through right the flanks but could not increase their lead.
The last 10 minutes of the second quarter saw Argentina making the moves but Indian custodian and skipper P.R. Sreejesh did well to deny them any opening in the scoring zone.
The game went into half time with India leading 1-0.
Argentine players came out stronger after half time but it was India who scored in the initial minutes as Kothajit Khadangbam scored a field goal in the 35th minute of the third quarter to make it 2-0.
The last quarter saw both teams pressing hard with long balls but this time, Argentina proved superior and scored a goal in the last 10 minutes of the game.
With the minutes ticking down, Argentina sharpened the attack, won several penalty corners, keeping India on tenterhooks.
But they failed to break India’s defence allowing India eke out a 2-1 win.