The Indian women’s hockey group set up an energetic execution to hold world No.2 Argentina to a 1-1 draw and end its visit through the country on a high. Captain Rani Rampal struck for India in the 35th minute while Emilia Forcherio scored for the host through a penalty shoot. This was India’s fourth match against the side after the third match to be played on Saturday was abandoned because of rainfall. Prior to the visit, India had drawn 2-2, 1-1 against the Argentina junior squad and lost 1-2, 2-3 to Argentina’s’ B’ squad.
Against the Argentina senior side, India lost 2-3 and 0-2 in the first and second matches respectively. The Indians played with an aim to make sure about the win against Argentina in their last match of the visit. However, accomplished Argentina proceeded to grandstand a predominant presentation, getting off the squares in the first quarter with a very much organized attack.
The early pressure on India’s defense line worked for Argentina as they earned two penalty corners within three minutes of the first quarter. But Indian goalkeeper Savita was well-equipped and made splendid recoveries to deny the hosts. India found a decent chance to score in the 11th minute when they were given a penalty corner, yet couldn’t execute it.
Three minutes into the second quarter, Rani found yet another opportunity to score when experienced forward Vandana Katariya assisted her but a valiant Argentine defense held strong, covering every inch in the striking circle and not allowed India their second goal of the match.
Argentina won two penalty corners in the 23rd and 24th minutes but Savita denied the host goals at both instances. Then skipper Rani found the right opportunity to score for India. Vandana found Rani in front of the goal and passed her the ball from the right.
Rani committed no error in getting the pass and quickly struck the ball past the Argentine goalkeeper to acquire India a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute. India had two opportunities to increase the lead in the 39th and 50th minutes of the game yet squandered both the chances.
Argentina, then again, pushed for goals and a body foul while shielding a penalty corner in the 55th minute that saw India yield a penalty stroke. From the resultant set-piece, Forcherio drew the game for Argentina.