HWL Finals: India goes down fighting to Argentina

The Indian put up a brave fight but the Argentinians held on to their one-goal lead to reach the final of the Hockey World League Finals. India will now battle it out in the third place play-off against the loser of the other semifinal between Australia and Germany.

Action from the quarterfinal clash between India and Belgium.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

India will be tad disappointed with the result and will now battle it out in the third place play-off against the loser of the other semifinal between Australia and Germany.

And that's that. India puts up a strong fight but the Argentinians held on to their one-goal lead to reach the final of the Hockey World League Finals.

58" Argentina has a peach of a chance to seal things up but somehow, somehow the striker fails to find the back of the net and sends his shot into the side of the goal.

56" Akashdeep makes a stirring run into the Argentinian D but an excellent tackle sees him go away with nothing.

55" Harmanpreet plays a searching ball in but the opposition defence thwarts it away.

54" Piellat makes a fine tackle to stop the Indians in their tracks and keep his side in the lead.

52" Three quick attacks from the Indians in less than two minutes show how eager the side is to get on the scoreboard with less than eight minutes to go.

50" A fantastic display from Akashdeep and the Argentinian GK makes a splendid save to deny India a goal.

49" India is pushing hard and is displaying strong attacking intent but is simply unable to find the goal-scoring touch so far.

47" India appeals for a PC but is denied one and loses its referral.

Fourth and final quarter begins

44" Lalit sends one towards the goal but the chance isn't converted as we head into the last 15 minutes of the match.

43" Both sides are pushing hard for a goal but neither is able to convert as the score remains 1-0 to Argentina with two minutes left in the third quarter.

40" Sunil tries to play a cross but the ball just stops on the water-logged turf, only for the Argentinian defence to take it away.

37" India looking a lot more attacking now, as it pushes hard for an equaliser.

36" Rupinder unable to beat the Argentinian keeper, who makes a fine save to ensure his side remains in the lead.

35" Rupinder sends a powerful flick over the bar, which seems to be deflected, and India is awarded another PC.

35" Penalty corner for India! Can the side claw its way back into the tie?

34" Argentina with a great attempt on goal but unable to extend its lead as the score remains 1-0 in its favour.

32" Harmanpreet takes a blow to the knee and is limping away, furthering dampening India's hopes.

Third quarter gets underway


30" Off goes the hooter and that's half-time. Argentina leads by one goal and has largely dominated the tie so far with 63% possession in the opposition half. India will have to bounce back strong if it is to seal a berth in the final.

28" The Pan-American champion seems to be in control of the tie now.

26" Argentina looks hungry for a second goal and is making the most of its one-man advantage, as it makes frequent trips to the Indian D.

22" The Indians will have to play om the back-foot and remain tight in defence given that they're one man down.

21" Manpreet has been sent off for 10 minutes for what looked like a clean tackle. The umpire found the tackle to be rash and has reduced the Indians to 10 men for the rest of the quarter.

In other news, Netherlands has defeated England 1-0 in the 7/8th place play-off tie.

19" Both teams are taking the aerial route now through multiple lofted lobs.

17" ARGENTINA SCORES! Gonzalo Peillat slams in the resulting PC into the Indian goal and puts his side in the lead.

17" Penalty Corner for Argentina! Can they take the lead in this semifinal clash? India refers the call and wins it.  India retains its referral.

Second quarter begins


14"
The continuous downpour has players struggling to control the ball as the first quarter ends goal-less.

11" India ups the ante in the last few minutes of the first quarter and makes two quick moves into the opposition's D, but to no avail.

9" India is pushing hard for the opening goal but the Argentinian defence is holding on.

7" Argentina's Vilal takes a strike to the face but looks like he's going to be okay.

6" A flighted cross flashes past the Indian goal as Argentina appeals for a penalty corner. Argentina loses its referral and it a free-out for India.

5" Mandeep makes a surging run to earn India a corner.

4" Argentina makes its first attacking move but Chikte does really well to fend off the cross.

3" The wet outfield has slowed the ball down and both sides are going to have to adapt to the conditions at the earliest.

1" India starts off on an attacking note on this slippery outfield and makes a sharp move into the Argentinian box.

First quarter begins

 

The teams have entered the pitch amidst a light drizzle.  The national anthems have been played and the tie is about to get underway. Here we go!

Here's the Indian line-up for the clash:

 

Roller-coasters are not for the faint-hearted or lily-livered. Taking the risk in such a condition could result in a lot of messiness around. But the Indian team at the Hockey World League Finals here seems intent on dragging the fans through such rides every time it steps on the field.

The side surprised everyone with a structured attacking game to hold defending and world champion Australia in the opening game, then went blank to drop to alarming levels in the next two games, raising questions on whether the players even knew what they were supposed to do. Then it flipped again, this time stunning a seemingly unbeatable Belgium in the quarterfinal in shootouts. That game, in itself, was a microcosm of the team's journey through the tournament so far. READ MORE HERE --> India braces for Argentine challenge

 

Here's the head-to-head record between the two sides:

Particulars

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

Total

48

26

4

18

118

90

In HWL (Raipur, Nov 2015)

1

0

0

1

0

3

Last 10 encounters

10

3

1

6

19

28

(Stats by B.G. Joshi)

The two sides last faced-off in a pool match at the Rio Olympics, where India won 2-1.

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the Hockey World League Finals semifinal clash between host India and Olympic champion Argentina.