India played some amazing hockey in their Group B match of Rio Olympics 2016, defeating Argentina 2-1 on Tuesday. Chinglensana Singh and Kothajit Singh scored a goal each to help India inch closer to the quarterfinals of the competition. Despite a barrage of attacks from Argentina in the final quarter, India held their nerves to emerge victorious, though the South American team scored a goal in the 49th minute.
India looked good right from the start, playing a high pressing game, and were applying pressure on the Argentina defenders. The first five minutes saw India put up a dominating performance.
India, after all the pressure, managed to take crucial lead as Chinglensana hit a low and hard shot for a fantastic goal in the eighth minute. It resulted from a penalty corner. Argentina were unlucky not to draw level in the final minute of the first quarter, as the ball hit the woodwork.
Argentina looked a determined outfit in the second quarter, trying to play some swift hockey. But, it was also opening up spaces for India to work around with in the midfield. India were using the flanks to play balls in the danger area.
Argentina might have looked better in the second 15 minutes, but they were not able to penetrate India's defence. Hence, India went into the break with 1-0 lead.
India doubled their lead four minutes into the second half, as Kothajit finished the ball brilliantly. This was India's first field goal of the competition. The goal resulted after some high-pressing in the early stages of the third quarter.
After going two goals down, Argentina, who had not lost a single game prior to this India clash, upped the ante, but India stood upto the task, not allowing them easy chances to score.
However, Argentina suddenly looked a different team in the final quarter, and managed to score a goal via Gonzalo Peillat drag-flick to make the game much more interesting. Argentina were piling amazing pressure on Indian defence, and the South American team were threatening to draw the game level.
There were barrage of attacks from Argentina in the last quarter, and Sreejesh made some brilliant saves to help India maintain the lead, and win the contest.
Roelant Oltmans' team has been impressive throughout the competition. They started with a win against Ireland, and lost to Germany in a close affair, but this victory against Argentina will give them immense confidence to take on big teams later in the competition.