Pacy India play out high-scoring draw vs Argentina in practice tie ahead of FIH Pro League

Varun Kumar scored two goals for India while Rajkumar Pal and Rupinder Pal Singh grabbed one each. India will play Argentina in the FIH Pro League next.

By Utathya Nag ·

The Indian men’s hockey team stayed unbeaten in their tour of Argentina as they held the hosts to a 4-4 draw in the second practice match at the CeNARD sports complex in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

India had beaten Argentina – the reigning Olympic champions - 4-3 in the first practice match played on Tuesday.

India will next face Argentina in the FIH Hockey Pro League match on April 11.

On Wednesday, Varun Kumar (7' and 44'), Rajkumar Pal (13') and Rupinder Pal Singh (14') were on the score sheet for India while Leandro Tolini (10'), Lucas Toscani (23'), Ignacio Ortiz (42') and Lucas (57') accounted for the home side’s goals.

India made a blistering start, scoring three goals in the first quarter alone. Seven minutes into the match, Mandeep Singh won India a penalty corner, which was effortlessly converted by dragflicker Varun Kumar.

Argentina, though, responded just three minutes later through a penalty corner. Leandro Tolini, who scored a brace in Tuesday’s match, executed a well-executed dragflick to bring his team level. 

India, however, regained the lead with Rajkumar Pal's goal in the 13th minute. He was assisted by Nilakanta Sharma, who has been in good nick. A minute later, Rupinder Pal Singh scored a splendid goal from a penalty corner earned by Lalit Upadyay and put India 3-1 ahead.

In the second quarter, Argentina's Lucas Toscani cut down India’s lead with a goal in the 23rd minute.

Following the 10-minute half-time break, both teams vied for control of the proceedings. Eventually, it was Argentina who broke through. Attacking midfielder Ignacio Ortiz converted another penalty corner to level things up at 3-3.

It didn't dampen India's spirit, though, Varun, who started the scoring for India, struck the back of the Argentina goal again in the 44th minute to hand the lead back to his team. 

A goal down, the home team stepped on the gas in the final quarter in search of an equaliser. India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak did well to deny them in the early stages but in the dying minutes, Argentina’s Lucas scored a field goal to settle the thrilling match at 4-4.