India go down to Argentina, finish runner-up in Azlan Shah

May 19th, 2008 - 8:15 am ICT by admin  

Ipoh (Malaysia), May 18 (IANS) India went down 1-2 to Argentina via a golden goal in the final of Azlan Shah hockey tournament here Sunday. Mario Almada struck a brace, including the golden goal, to dash the young Indian team’s hopes of winning the coveted trophy.

Sandeep Singh put India ahead through a penalty corner conversion while Argentina came back from behind through Almada (14th, 73rd) to win the title for his side.

India though will return home satisfied as they scripted a brilliant turnaround and won four matches in a row after two defeats to reach the final after a gap of 12 years.

Argentina set the pace of the match with moves into the Indian defence but goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza came out with some good saves.

India got their first penalty corner after Shivendra Singh and S V Sunil were brought down near the circle.

Sandeep converted the corner, scoring his ninth goal of the tournament to open the account for India.

The equaliser for Argentina came just four minutes later. Right winger Tomas Argento’s cross was put across Indian goalpost by Almada.

As both teams forayed into rival defence, scuffle broke out between the players and forced the umpires to halt the match for six minutes in the first half.

Argentina stepped up the attack in the second half but failed to deliver the killer punch. Argentina got a penalty corner five minutes before the hooter but could not make it count. India also wasted two short corners.

The match went into the extra-time with the scores tied at 1-1 after the regulation time. Almada scored the golden goal and Argentina burst into celebration.

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