Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of India's fourth Tokyo 2020 hockey game against Argentina. This was Dominic Richard taking you through the action as it unfurled at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
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Until then, you can catch our live shooting updates through the link provided below. Indians Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat are in action. On the other hand, there's a Sportstar Indian blog for various other sports as well.
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Indian Hockey action for the day comes to an end with the men's team advancing to the quarterfinals. Tomorrow, both the men and women will be in action against Japan (3PM IST) and Ireland (8:15 AM), respectively.
INDIANS IN ACTION |
With this win, the Indians (nine points) are now assured of a top-two finish in Pool A, behind Australia (12). Meanwhile, Argentina (four) is behind third-placed Spain and fourth-ranked New Zealand, only on goal difference.
MATCH REPORT |
Second-half goals from Varun Kumar, Vivek Sagar Prasad and Harmanpreet Singh hand India a brilliant 3-1 victory over the defending Olympic champion Argentina. Maico Casella scored the only Argentine goal today.
AND THE MATCH IS OVER! INDIA BEATS ARGENTINA 3-1!!!
59' GOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!!! INDIA 3 - 1 ARGENTINA!!! Eighth Indian penalty corner and Harmanpreet Singh executed a flawless drag flick to give his outfit a much needed two-goal cushion.
58' GOOOOAALLLLLL!!!!!! INDIA TAKES A 2-1 LEAD NOW!!! Chaos inside the Argentina shooting circle. Dilpreet Singh comes up with a dangerous pass at close range. Vivek Sagar Prasad managed to release a shot on target and the ball hit Argentine keeper Vivaldi's stick before going in.
54' India mounts a counter-attack after a failed PC attempt for Argentina. However, the Argentine players track back in time to avert the danger for their team.
51' Another successful referral for India at the Tokyo Olympics. The referee had awarded Argentina a penalty corner and it has been overturned. Seven out of India's 10 reviews this tournament have been successful.
48' FIRST PC FOR ARGENTINA AND GOOOAAALLLL!!!! ARGENTINA 1 - 1 INDIA!!! Maico Casella comes up with a stunning shot off the set-piece to equalise the score for his side.
THE FOURTH QUARTER IS UNDERWAY!
A solitary goal from Varun Kumar is the difference between the two teams today as India holds a 1-0 lead over Argentina ahead of the last quarter.
THE THIRD QUARTER COMES TO AN END!
45' After managing to win zero penalty corners in the first two quarters, India had seven PCs in the last 15 minutes, also bagging a goal in the process.
43' GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!!! INDIA TAKES A 1-0 LEAD!!! Defender Varun Kumar took over from Rupinder Pal as the Indian penalty-corner taker. He released a shot on target and Argentina custodian Juan Manuel Vivaldi made a mess of a straightforward save.
42' BACK-TO-BACK PCs FOR INDIA! Rupinder Pal Singh took both corners for the Indians but they were well below par. CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA! A counter-attack is initiated almost immediately and India's goalkeeper PR Sreejesh does well during a one-on-one situation to avert the danger for his side.
40' Argentina loses its referral and has a card in the same minute. After an unsuccessful attempt in winning a penalty corner, Argentine midfielder Matias Rey heads to the bench for a violation.
38' India has made 20 circle penetrations today as opposed to Argentina's three today. The team has taken four shots, while Argentina has attempted just two.
35' SHOT! Gurjant Singh receives the ball well, takes a brilliant turn and releases a shot. But the ball travels way off the target. India is missing chance after chance here.
33' GOOD DEFENDING! This was another India chance but Argentina midfielder Matias Rey came to his team's rescue with a phenomenal last-ditch tackle.
THE THIRD QUARTER BEGINS!
The referee hadn't awarded any penalty corner in the first half. Both India and Argentina have not created clear-cut chances yet. But the game hasn't been a dull affair. Crucial 30 minutes to go for the two sides. Stay tuned!
THE SECOND QUARTER IS DONE AND DUSTED!
29' India has dominated the possessional, attacking and passing stats against Argentina in today's game so far. But the team would be disappointed with its wastefulness up front.
26' VERY CLOSE! Shamser Singh came up with a stunning ground pass from long. Mandeep Singh got to the ball inside the circle. But he wasn't able to find the back of the net with his outstretched left-handed attempt.
24' SHOT! Harmanpreet Singh sprints past a couple of Argentina players with ease and has a shot but it is way off the target. Once again, an Indian player has gone for an early shot. He should have taken his time.
22' Diego Paz comes up with a brilliant move on the left flank for Argentina. He ends up winning a free-hit after a clumsy challenge by India's Rupinder Pal Singh.
19' The Argentine defence has been solid at the back. Amid all those dangerous Indian attacks, not one penalty corner has been conceded yet.
17' CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA! Thomas Habif releases a pass towards his teammate Lucas Rossi inside the shooting circle. But the Indian defence is alert as the clearance is made.
THE SECOND QUARTER IS UNDERWAY!
India was easily the better of the two sides in the opening 15 minutes. However, Argentina hasn't been in trouble yet.
THE FIRST QUARTER IS OVER!
15' WHAT A CHANCE FOR INDIA! Argentina lost the ball at the other end and India initiated a counter-attack. Gurjant Singh set up fellow substitute Simranjeet Singh up front. But the forward lost the ball while attempting to dribble past an Argentine defender.
12' A long ball from midfield is sent towards Amit Rohidas on the right flank. However, he is unable to control it properly. Another Indian chance goes to waste.
9' GREEN CARD! India midfielder Sumit has to spend some time on the bench after coming up with a mistimed tackle on an opposition player.
7' Argentina looks rusty early on. Gurjant Singh had a decent chance here. But his attempted pass to an Indian teammate went wide off goal.
4' SHOT! Dilpreet Singh almost gave India the lead. His shot at close range was well saved by Argentina's experienced goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi.
2' India with the first attack of the game. Mandeep Singh receives a good pass just outside the shooting circle. But he isn't able to open the scoring for his side.
AND THE MATCH BEGINS!
The players make their way out into the field, and it is time for the national anthems, which will be followed by the toss in the middle.
The team lineups are out!
INDIA XI: PR Sreejesh (GK), Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Manpreet Singh (C), Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sumit.
COACH - Graham Reid.
ARGENTINA XI: Juan Manuel Vivaldi (GK), Pedro Ibarra (C), Leandro Tolini, Juan Martin Lopez, Matias Rey, Nahuel Salis, Nicolas Cicileo, Ignacio Ortiz, Agustin Mazzilli, Lucas Rossi, Lucas Vila.
COACH - Carlos Retegui.
A resurgent Indian men's hockey team would look to seal a quarterfinal berth but defending champion Argentina won't be an easy challenge to overcome when the two sides clash in their penultimate pool A match of the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
With two wins out of three games, world no.4 India is sitting pretty in second spot in Pool A, which is being headed by the unbeaten Australia which boasts of a perfect record till now from three games. Argentina, currently ranked seventh in the world, is placed in fourth spot with one win, a draw and a loss.
After a hard-fought 3-2 victory over New Zealand, the Indians, who are in pursuit of their first Olympic medal in more than four decades, were drubbed 1-7 by Australia before the eight-time champion bounced back to outplay Spain 3-0.
India's last of the eight Olympic golds came way back at the 1980 Moscow Games. The Los Leones, on the other hand, drew their first game 1-1 with Spain, won 2-1 against host Japan and lost 2-5 to Australia.
The 3-0 win over Spain has definitely raised the confidence level of the Manpreet Singh-led side, especially after the morale-shattering loss to Australia but according to India's chief coach Graham Reid, a lot of improvement is needed in every aspect of the game.
India conceded as many as eight penalty corners against Spain on Tuesday, a statistic which continues to worry the team's Australian coach.
"A lot of things to work on from an improvement perspective. The fact that we gave too many corners (against Spain), that's always a concern when that happens. But the team did really well in terms of defending," he had said.
Manpreet's men played high pressure hockey from the word go against Spain and it is something they would like to continue against an ageing Argentine defence.
Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh scored a brace against Spain -- one from a penalty stroke and the other from a penalty corner, while Simranjeet Singh scored a field goal as well.
The Indian defenders led by experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who had a nightmarish outing against Australia, too had a good day, and they would like to continue the momentum going ahead in the competition.
Going by head-to-head records in recent times, India definitely has an edge over Argentina. In the FIH Pro League double header earlier this year, India beat Argentina 3-2 in the shoot-out after the first game ended 2-2. They also registered a comfortable 3-0 win in the next game in Buenos Aires.
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In the practice matches, which were part of Olympic preparation for both teams, the Indians registered a 4-3 win, 4-4 draw, 0-1 loss and 4-2 win.
"No doubt, we had a successful Argentina tour, but that was in the past, and this is a totally different occasion. So, we can't take any teams lightly on a platform like the Olympics," India captain Manpreet said.
"It's going to be a good game, and I think we will just have to stick to our skills and just repeat all the things, we do in our practice sessions."
Coach Reid feels his wards will have to play consistent hockey over the four quarters if they want to come out victorious against Argentina.
"We know each other pretty well, we played a lot of games with them in May. I am imagining that they will try different things, so we just need to make sure that we are ready for the unknown, which is always difficult," Reid said.
"We are looking forward to it, they are a tough team, so we need to be playing a lot much better. We need to play all four quarters like we played the first quarter against Spain," he added.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs):
- At what time will the Indian hockey team be in action?
The hockey game against Argentina will start today at 6:00 AM IST (9:30 AM local time).
- Where to watch Indian events at Tokyo Olympics?
The Sony Sports Network will broadcast Tokyo Olympics live in India.
Sony TEN 3 HD/SD will telecast India events with Hindi commentary while Sony TEN 1 HD/SD and Sony TEN 2 HD/SD will have English commentary.
Live streaming of the events will be available on the SonyLIV and JioTV apps.
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