India go down to Argentina in Azlan Shah hockey

May 9th, 2008 - 11:03 pm ICT by admin  


Ipoh (Malaysia), May 9 (IANS) The Indian hockey team put up a pathetic display to suffer a humiliating 1-5 defeat against Argentina in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament here Friday. This was India’s second defeat in the tournament after having lost the first match to New Zealand.

Facundo Callioni struck three goals while Pedro Ibarra and Tomas Incento scored one each for Argentina.

Drag flicker Sandeep Singh, who struck a hat-trick in the first game, scored the only goal for India.

The Indian team, which have a bunch of junior players, failed to match the quality of a top side like Argentina. The defence in particular was caught napping on several occasions. India also faired badly in penalty corner conversion and lost as many as six opportunities.

Argentina scored their first goal in the 12th minute through a counter-attack which resulted in Callioni sounding the board with a fine back-hand flick. India equalised in the 25th minute with Sandeep converting a penalty corner.

Ibarra scored through a penalty corner to hand the lead back to Argentina four minutes before the breather.

In the second half, Argentina came back hard at the Indian defence and struck two goals in succession. First Callioni scored in the 43rd minute and two minutes later, Tomas Incento’s deft stick work pounded the misery of India. Callioni took advantage of a dispirited side and slipped past his third goal a little later.

India will take on Canada in their next match after the rest day Saturday and will need a win to keep their hopes alive in the seven-nation tournament.

In the other league matches, Pakistan beat New Zealand 6-3 while Canada defeated Belgium 1-0.

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