FIH Women’s Pro League: India stuns Argentina

Gurjit Kaur and Lalremsiami score the goals for India as it avenges its defeat in the Tokyo Olympics; after a 3-3 stalemate, India clinches win in the penalty shootout.

Lalremsiami (second right) gave India the lead in the fourth minute. - HOCKEY INDIA

Gurjit Kaur scored two goals as India stunned Argentina in the first match of the double-leg FIH Pro League tie here on Saturday.

After a 3-3 stalemate, India won the penalty shootout 2-1.

Gurjit’s two penalty corner conversions - in the 37th and 61st minutes - and Lalremsiami’s field goal in the fourth minute cancelled out Agustina Gorzelany’s hat-trick to take the match into the shootout. In the shootout, Neha Goyal and Sonika scored for India, while Victoria Granatto was the lone scorer for the Olympic silver medallist.

With this win, India avenged its 2-1 defeat against the same opponent in the Tokyo Olympic semifinals.

The Indians started strongly in the match, dominating the early exchanges. They put pressure on the Argentina defence early on and secured a penalty corner in the third minute but Monika’s flick was saved by Belen Succi, the opposition goalkeeper.

In the lead

A minute later, India surged ahead through a brilliant field goal by Lalremsiami. It was Deep Grace Ekka who created the chance with her defence-splitting pass from outside the circle, and Lalremsiami dodged her marker to get a brilliant touch which completely foxed the Argentine goalie.

Stunned by the goal, the Argentines went on the attack and secured two penalty corners in succession soon. But the Indian defence stood firm. With seconds to go before the end of first quarter, Sharmila Devi’s effort from close range from a Navneet Kaur pass was kept out by Succi.

India went behind twice but managed to stay afloat in regulation time to take the contest into the penalty shootout. - HOCKEY INDIA

 

The Indians started on the same note in the second quarter but Argentina gradually got its acts together. Six minutes into the second quarter, Argentina earned two quick penalty corners and Agustina Gorzelany scored after her flick went in after getting of deflection of Sushila Chanu’s stick. Argentina secured another penalty corner soon but Chanu made a goal-line save to deny Valentina Costa.

End-to-end hockey

With seconds remaining before half-time, India, too, got a penalty corner, but wasted the opportunity. It was end-to-end hockey from both the sides but Argentina surged ahead this time when Gorzelany scored from a penalty stroke in the 37th minute.

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Argentina's joy was shortlived as India drew parity seconds later through a perfect penalty corner conversion by Gurjit Kaur.

The Argentines continued to press hard and won two more penalty corners in the third quarter but the Indians defended stoutly. Argentina secured its eighth penalty corner in the 45th minute and Gorzelany was on target to register her hat-trick and hand her side the lead again.

The Indians fought tooth and nail. Gurjit again came to her side's rescue with a brilliant penalty corner execution in the 51st minute to level the scores 3-3. Thereafter, both the sides tried hard to score the winner but the defensive units stood tall.

India and Argentina will again play against each other in the second match of the tie here on Sunday.

Final score
  • India 3 (Lalremsiami 4’; Gurjit Kaur 37’, 51’) Argentina 3 (Gorzelany 22’, 37’, 45’). India wins 2-1 in penalty shootout.

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