India off to winning start

Defeat Argentina 4-3 in first practice match of tour

India off to winning start

The Indian players celebrate a goal against Argentina in the first practice match. HI

Buenos Aires, April 7

The Indian men’s hockey team made a positive start to its tour of Argentina, beating the reigning Olympics champions 4-3 in the first practice match here on Tuesday.

Nilakanta Sharma (16th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (28th), Rupinder Pal Singh (33rd) and Varun Kumar (47th) were the goal scorers for India. Drag-flicker Leandro Tolini (35th, 53rd) and Maico Casella (41st) scored for the home team.

“It was a very good practice match, intensely fought by both teams. It is always nice to come up with a win against a team like Olympics champions Argentina as it amplifies our confidence levels,” India coach Graham Reid said.

Converting opportunities

“We were able to create opportunities in the circle and also convert them. This was one of the areas we really put our minds to in the national camp,” he added.

“But we allowed Argentina to come back into the game particularly in the third quarter where they scored twice. When you play a strong team like them, you need to be consistent in all the quarters,” he added.

India will play their second practice match against Argentina on Wednesday.

“Each match we play is a learning experience and I feel we have scope to do better. We look forward to a good match on Wednesday too. These matches will surely help us when we take on the home team in the double header Pro League matches,” Reid said. — PTI

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