FIH Pro League: Harmanpreet scores hat-trick as Indian men’s hockey team beats Argentina 5-4

Antwerp (Belgium), May 27 (IANS): India’s never-say-die attitude came to the fore in their match against Argentina as they won 5-4 in their fourth match of the European leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24.

For India, Araijeet Singh Hundal (7’), Gurjant Singh (18’) and Harmanpreet Singh (29’, 50’ and 52’) were on target, while for Argentina, Federico Monja (3’), Nicolas Keenan (24’), Tadeo Marucci (54’) and Lucas Martinez (57’) scored goals.

It was India which started well, keeping the ball for most of the first quarter and came up with accurate passes to make their way into the Argentina striking circle. However, it was Argentina that drew first blood when Federico Monja (3’) found the back of the net from a close range to give them a 1-0 lead. In response, India equalised quickly as Araijeet Singh Hundal (7’) scored a brilliant field goal.

With a minute remaining, India earned a penalty corner but failed to capitalise on it. The first quarter ended 1-1.

India started the second quarter on a high note. The fast counter-attacking aggressive approach helped India extend their lead after Gurjant Singh (18’) scored an excellent field goal. India were slightly dodgy the next few minutes after scoring the goal as they gave up possession and were punished when Argentina broke into a quick counter, making its way through the left flank.

It was Nicolas Keenan, who drove into the Indian circle, beating the defenders to strike the ball into India’s goal levelling the score 2-2. However, India earned a PC with a minute remaining and captain Harmanpreet Singh (29’) made no mistake as he made it 3-2 in India’s favour. Going into the half-time, India led Argentina 3-2.

With India looking to extend their lead and Argentina looking to equalise, the third quarter was entertaining with both teams displaying quick-fire hockey stepping up their ante in attack. India secured a penalty corner but couldn’t convert it as Harmanpreet’s shot was blocked well by the Argentina goalkeeper. With both teams defence standing tall, the third quarter remained goalless as it ended 3-2.

The fourth quarter was brilliantly played with India coming out in top gear. They pushed Argentina to make errors, leading to a PC being awarded with 10 minutes remaining. The decision was changed to a penalty stroke.

Captain Harmanpreet's (50’) low powerful shot found the back of the net and India took a 4-2 lead. Two minutes later, India were awarded another penalty stroke, which was again successfully converted by Captain Harmanpreet Singh (52’).

Argentina pulled two goals back in quick succession as Tadeo Marucci (54’) and Lucas Martinez (57’) found the back of the net to set up an exciting finish to the game. The match ended with India winning 5-4.

India will next take on Germany on June 1.



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Title: FIH Pro League: Harmanpreet scores hat-trick as Indian men’s hockey team beats Argentina 5-4

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