Indian hockey team goes down fighting to World no. 1 side Argentina & failed to reach their first ever final after falling behind Olympic Champions by 0-1 in the semis of HWL Final 2017 at Odisha on Friday.
Hosts India, with a very young team, registered their first win of the tournament in the quarter-final when it mattered against Belgium in a penalty shoot out & alot was expected in the semis too.
Heavy rain in Bhubaneswar made the things pretty difficult for both the teams & the wet surface made it really difficult for the players to pass the ball. There was also a chance of the match being postponed to tomorrow due to the weather conditions.
After winning their first ever Gold in Rio Olympics, Argentina was full of confidence & also had a good tournament prior to semis whereas India lost all their group matches & it was uphill task for India to get the better of World no. 1 side.
It was Argentina who drew the first blood in second quarter through penalty corner after Gonzalo Peillat’s shot find the net & made it 1-0 lead for his team.
Another blow came for India after captain Manpreet Singh was shown yellow card for his harsh tackle & India was forced to play with 10 players for 10 minutes.
India earned a penalty corner in third quarter but Argentina’s keeper had no issues in cutting off Rupinder’s shot after it slowed down due to the water.
In the last 15 minutes, India played on full press & had many chances to score but the team failed to capitalise & it was Argentina who made it into the finals of Hockey World League Final (HWL) 2017_.