After playing two draws in Argentina, the Indian women’s hockey team suffered a 2-1 loss against Argentina B in its third match in Buenos Aires on Friday.
Goals from Sol Pagella (11th minute) and Agustina Gorzelany (57th minute) were enough for the hosts while Salima Tete (54th) scored the only goal for the tourists.
“Today we played against a stronger Argentina squad consisting of many of their senior players,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne told Hockey India. “This was a perfect practice match for us ahead of next week's schedule where we play against the senior side.”
Argentina B played attacking hockey right from the start and earned their first penalty corner in the sixth minute, but Indian goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu saw off the threat without much fuss.
The Argentines continued to attack and were duly rewarded minutes later with Sol Pagella scoring from a short corner (1-0).
Though the Indians made a few forays, they couldn’t create any opportunities inside the striking circle as they ran into a sturdy Argentine defence.
And when India did manage to earn a short corner, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur found it hard to beat the Argentine goalkeeper.
Argentina B continued with their attacking game in the second half but the Indian defence managed to keep the hosts at bay.
The Indian women's hockey team earned another penalty corner in the fourth quarter and this time, an alert Salima Tete pounced on a rebound to make it 1-1.
But just when it looked like Rani Rampal and Co. would walk away with a draw, the Argentines broke through the Indian backline with the experienced Agustina Gorzelany scoring from a well-worked field goal with just three minutes left for the final hooter.
“While we are testing some of our younger players in these matches, and I am happy they are getting exposure against a strong side like Argentina, we simply cannot afford to concede a late goal and it's an area that requires work,” Sjoerd Marijne accepted.
The Indian women’s hockey team will take on Argentina B again on Sunday.