Buenos Aires, Jan 23 : The Indian women’s hockey team conceded a late goal against Argentina ‘B’ to lose their match 2-1.
Sol Pagella (11th minute) and Agustina Gorzelany (57) scored for the home team while young forward Salima Tete (54) was the lone goal-scorer for India.
In the previous matches, the visiting Indians had drawn 2-2 and 1-1 against the Argentina junior women.
“Today we played against a stronger Argentina squad consisting many of their senior players. This was a perfect practice match for us ahead of next week’s schedule where we play against the senior side. Unfortunately, we conceded a penalty corner (PC) goal minutes before the regulation time and this is what we need to manage better,” said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
India began on back-foot with Argentina ‘B’ playing tough, attacking hockey right from the start. Conceding two back-to-back PCs within six minutes of play and putting pressure on the visiting side. However, Indian goalkeeper Rajani did well to save the goals. In the 11th minute, a fierce circle penetration and well-timed strike by younger Sol Pagella though put the home team ahead by 1-0.
With a strong defence put up by the Argentinian women, PCs were hard to come by for India and circle entries were restricted as well. Though India managed to earn a PC in the 23rd minute, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur’s attempt to equalise was well saved by the opposition’s goalkeeper.
Argentina earned two more PCs in the 43rd and 51st minutes. But India’s PC defence held sway to ensure the lead was not extended further. In the 54th minute, when India bagged a PC, an alert Salima Tete swiftly struck the ball off a rebound into the goalpost fetching her team a much-need equaliser.
The sturdy home team upped its ante in the following minutes with a circle penetration that resulted in a PC. This was the deciding moment as an experienced Gorzelany converted the goal in the 57th minute to seal the match.