FIH Pro League: Harmanpreet's hat-trick guides India to 5-4 win over Argentina

Besides Harmanpreet, Araijeet Singh Hundal, and Gurjant Singh also scored for India, while Federico Monja, Nicolas Keenan, Tadeo Marucci and Lucas Martinez were on target for Argentina

Published - May 27, 2024 02:35 pm IST - Antwerp (Belgium)

Indian hockey team captain Harmanpreet Singh.

Indian hockey team captain Harmanpreet Singh. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Captain Harmanpreet Singh led from the front with a sensational hat-trick as the Indian men’s hockey team recorded a thrilling 5-4 win over Argentina in the FIH Hockey Pro League in Antwerp.

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

India made a good start, 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, Argentina drew first blood when Federico found the back of the net from a close range to give them a 1-0 lead.

In response, India equalized quickly as Araijeet scored a brilliant field goal. India also earned a penalty corner but failed to capitalize on it as 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 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 their 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 at 2-2. However, India earned a PC with a minute remaining in the quarter and Harmanpreet made it 3-2 in India’s favour.

The third quarter was entertaining with both teams displaying quick-fire hockey. 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.

India came out in top gear in the fourth quarter as they pushed Argentina to make errors, leading to a PC being awarded with 10 minutes remaining. The decision was changed to a penalty stroke and Harmanpreet's low powerful shot found the back of the net as India took a 4-2 lead.

Two minutes later, India were awarded another penalty stroke, which was again successfully converted by Harmanpreet.

Argentina pulled two goals back in quick succession as Tadeo and Lucas 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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