Olympic champion Argentina quelled India’s chances of a second consecutive victory as it made a strong comeback for a 4-4 draw in a practice match on Wednesday.
Varun Kumar (7th and 44th), Rajkumar Pal (13th), Rupinder Pal Singh (14th) scored for India while Leandro Tolini (10th), Lucas Toscani (23rd), Ignacio Ortiz (42nd) and Lucas (57th) found the target for the home team. India had won the first practice match 4-3.
India made a fine start with a well-structured attack that fetched it three goals in the first quarter.
Forward Mandeep Singh earned India a penalty corner in the seventh minute which was effortlessly converted by dragflicker Varun Kumar. Argentina bounced back in the 10th minute when it earned a PC. Leandro Tolini, who scored twice in the previous match, came up with a well-executed dragflick to equalise. India, however, regained the lead with Rajkumar Pal’s goal in the 13th minute. He was assisted by attacking midfielder Nilakanta Sharma, who has been in good nick.
Rupinder Pal Singh score a splendid goal off a PC, taking India’s lead to 3-1 in the 14th minute.
The second quarter began with both teams winning PCs but converting none. However, in the 23rd minute, Lucas Toscani struck to narrow India’s lead to 3-2.
After the halftime break Argentina pulled level through a PC, which was well-struck by Argentina’s attacking midfielder Ignacio Ortiz.
This didn’t dampen India’s spirit as it scored the fourth via forward Dilpreet Singh, whose successful entry into the striking circle earned India a PC. Varun then made no mistake.
With the visitors ahead only by a goal, the last quarter was a battle of nerves. India custodian Krishan Pathak saved a PC but he could do little to stop Lucas’s field goal in the 57th minute.
The result: Argentina 4 (Leandro Tolini 10, Lucas Toscani 23, Ignacio Ortiz 42, Lucas 57) drew with India 4 (Varun Kumar 7, 44, Rajkumar Pal 13, Rupinder Pal Singh 14).