Monday, June 17, 2024

FIH Pro League: India quell Argentina 2-1 to end their campaign with 30 points

Akashdeep Singh and Sukhjeet Singh struck a goal apiece in the first quarter as India India wrapped up their campaign in the Men’s FIH Pro League with a 2-1 victory over Argentina here on Sunday.

India who had defeated Argentina, the Rio Olympics gold medallists, by a similar margin a few days back and Sunday’s victory took their tally to 30 points from 16 matches in the nine-team double round-robin tournament.

Akashdeep Singh put India ahead in the first minute while Sukhjeet Singh scored another field goal in the 13th minute for India. Lucas Toscani scored off a penalty corner for Argentina in the 57th minute.

India thus remained at the top of the table with 30 points from eight outright wins, three wins via a shoot-out, one loss in a shoot-out and five defeats. Great Britain are second with 26 points from 12 matches and Australia at third with 19 points from 13 games.

India made a strong start in the match. The Argentinian defence were slow to get going and a slew of errors meant India had no trouble in scoring within the first two minutes of the match — an easy put-in for Akashdeep Singh from right in front of goal.

The Indians doubled their lead with less than a minute left in the opening quarter. Akashdeep and Vivek Sagar Prasad combined well to pass the ball through to a sliding Sukhjeet Singh in front of the goal to once again easily breach the Argentinian defence.

Argentina enjoyed a stronger second half, but it was only with two and a half minutes left in the match that they finally found the breakthrough. Nicolas Della Torre slipped the ball to Lucas Toscani off a penalty corner to fire in for Los Leones’ first goal.

While they pressured for the equaliser in the dying moments, it was too late to prevent the 2-1 victory for India in their final match of the FIH Hockey Pro League season.

Vivek Sagar Prasad was named player of the match. “It was a really good match for us. This is our last match in the Pro League and we finished strongly with a win so that’s really good for us… We need to now focus on what was good in this competition and, more importantly, on what we need to improve like PC conversion and more counterattacks,” he was quoted as saying by the FIH.

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