The Indian men’s hockey played first match after corona pandemic and team made a positive start to its tour of Argentina, beating the reigning Olympic champions 4-3 in the first practice match here. Nilakanta Sharma (16th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (28th), Rupinder Pal Singh (33rd) and Varun Kumar (47th) were the goal scorers for India late on Tuesday night. Dragflicker Leandro Tolini (35th, 53rd) and Maico Casella (41st) scored for the home team.
India coach Graham Reid said after win that “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 Olympic Champions Argentina as it amplifies our confidence levels,” Both teams were slow to get off the blocks in the first quarter, but it was India who picked up pace in the second quarter.
Here it is to be noted that Shilanand Lakra was the creator of India’s first goal as his immaculate assist found Nilakanta inside the circle and the striker put the ball past Argentina’s goalkeeper to hand the visitors lead. India, thereafter, pushed the hosts on the back foot with persistent attacks.