Riding on a brilliant start, taking a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute of the game, home team Argentina beat the Indian Women’s Hockey Team 2-0 here at Cenard, Buenos Aires. This was India’s second match with the World No. 2 ranked side after matches with the Argentina Junior Women’s and their ‘B’ teams. In the previous match, India conceded late goals resulting in a 2-3 score line favouring the home team.
In today’s match, early pressure created by the Argentina’s forwardline helped push India on the backfoot in the very first quarter. A foot-foul by Indian defender in the striking circle, gave away a PC to the home team which was well-capitalized by the experienced squad. Silvina D’elia scored the goal, in a tactically executed PC, fetching her team a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute of play.
Though India didn’t let this early setback dent their spirit and worked a disciplined structure to find opportunities in the striking circle, they could not manage to breach the strong Argentinian defence to score. “If you don’t convert your opportunities, you know the other team will and that’s what happened today. Our structure was much better in this match and that’s why in the first two quarters we created good opportunities in the circle,” explained Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne about India’s performance.
After the early jolt, Indian defence ensured an effective formation that kept the Argentinian forwardline at bay. With no goals scored in the second and third quarters by either team, the match went down to the wire with intense play being showcased in the fourth quarter of the match. It was Argentina who showed their experience as they held sway to convert opportunities. In the 54th minute, a defensive error on India’s part saw them earn a PC. Agustina Albertarrio did well to convert the goal, eventually helping her team clinch a 2-0 victory.
“Argentina was very effective in their PCs and that was, for me, the deciding factor today. We feel we are getting closer to win, but small mistakes can make a huge difference in the match especially against a top-class team like Argentina,” stated Marijne.
India will take on the Argentina on Saturday, 30th January at 09.30pm IST.