Two goals in the first quarter and two in the last helped India end their tour of Argentina on a memorable note, winning the fourth and final practice game 4-2 in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.
Goals from Rupinder Pal Singh (3rd minute), Jaskaran Singh (12th), Shilanand Lakra (50th) and Surender Kumar (58th) helped the visitors make a mockery of the Argentina defence, who scored through Leandro Tolini (14th) and Pedro Ibarra (54th).
Following the 0-1 loss to the hosts on Tuesday — India’s only defeat in the four practice games and two back-to-back FIH Pro League encounters — the Manpreet Singh-led team wasted little time getting off the blocks. Mandeep Singh won an early penalty corner, which was netted by Rupinder in the third minute.
Encouraged by the early goal, India dominated possession and flooded the Argentinian circle. Three minutes before the end of the first quarter, the visitors doubled the lead through Jaskaran’s impressive field goal.
Argentina pulled one back through Tolini just before the close of the first quarter. The hosts started to look comfortable in the midfield and tested the Indian defence in the second quarter, but goalkeeping stalwart PR Sreejesh came up with some brave saves.
India made a bright start to the second half with Varun Kumar going on a powerful run and winning a penalty corner. However, the Argentinian defence calmly dealt with the threat to deny India from restoring their two-goal advantage.
Youngster Shilanand put India in command with a field goal 10 minutes before full-time. Argentina then scored their second goal through a penalty stroke in the 54th minute, but Surender’s field goal two minutes from time confirmed India’s domination in the series.