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FIH Pro League: Indian women’s hockey team goes down 0-3 against Argentina

Antwerp, May 26: The Indian women’s hockey team went down 0-3 to Argentina in the final match of the Belgium leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24, here on Sunday. Celina Di Santo (1’), Maria Campoy (39’), and Maria Granatto (47′) etched their names on the scoresheet for Argentina. Argentina took the game by storm in the very first minute, dissecting the Indian high press and penetrating to the shooting circle, where Celina Di Santo deflected Maria Granatto’s shot on goal to score their first goal.

As India struggled to play out of their half, a period of Argentinian dominance followed, resulting in a penalty corner eight minutes into the game, but they failed to extend their lead. Following this, India began stringing a few passes together and grew into the game. They forced Argentine goalkeeper Clara Barberi into action after a low drive into the circle from Udita found Lalremsiami, who dove to direct it towards goal but failed to score.

Argentina regained control of proceedings in the second quarter, earning a slurry of penalty corners but an alert duo of Bichu Devi Kharibam and Salima Tete helped keep the ball out of the nets. A rare Indian foray into the shooting circle resulted in a penalty corner but Deepika’s drag flick was comfortably swatted away. Argentina pegged India back for the rest of the quarter but the Indian defence held firm to keep the scoreline 0-1 heading into the second half. India earned a penalty corner early in the third quarter but failed to create a goalscoring opportunity.

As the quarter progressed India attempted to push up the pitch but were unable to create any significant chances. Argentina made a breakthrough in the 39th minute, as Maria Campoy picked up the ball on the left wing and bulldozed into the circle, dodging a few challenges and slotting it past Savita to double their lead. India had a chance to score in the last minute of the quarter but Navneet Kaur’s tomahawk was saved by Clara Barberi. Argentina earned a penalty corner as soon as the final quarter began and Maria Granatto directed Agustina Gorzelany’s flick over Savita in goal to further solidify their lead.

Argentina stepped up the intensity after the goal and pegged India back, creating multiple chances through Maria Granatto but a resilient Indian backline managed to thwart any further advances and the match ended 3-0 in Argentina’s favour. The Indian women’s team will next take on Germany on June 1.

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