Indian hockey juniors aim for turnaround against Argentina (Preview)

Johor Bahru (Malaysia), Oct 13 (IANS) India will look to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss against Britain when they take on Argentina in a league match of the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup junior hockey tournament here on Wednesday.

Defending champions India thrashed Pakistan 5-1 before wasting a 3-1 lead to suffer a 3-4 defeat against Britain on Tuesday and will look for an encouraging result in their bid to secure a spot in the semi-finals.

India faced Argentina twice in 2013 and registered convincing wins on both occasions. The Indian colts defeated Argentina 3-2 in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia and repeated their success in the Junior World Cup, where they outplayed the Latin American team 4-2.

India will look to ride on forward Sumit Kumar’s form that has seen him score three goals so far. Along with Sumit, the rest of the forward line-up includes Arman Qureshi, Ajay Yadav and Parvinder Singh who provide the much required strength and will be looking at maximum circle penetration.

Defenders Harmanpreet Singh and Dipsan Tirkey will also aim to avoid the mistakes they made against Britain, while skipper Harjeet Singh will look to lead from the front in the midfield.

On the other side, Argentina started their campaign with a huge upset of the tournament, beating Australia 1-0. Argentina will aim at continuing their aggressive play against India on Wednesday.

“The team is geared up for the next challenge and looking for a close battle tomorrow. We have beaten Argentina in the past and outplayed them in all the matches,” Indian chief coach Harendra Singh said in a release on Tuesday.

“The team in the last two matches has showed its best game during vital moments and their mental strength is quite strong. We are expecting a positive result in tomorrow’s game.”

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