India Junior Men Team held on to beat Argentina by 3-2 after taking early lead in the game in the ongoing 5th Sultan of Johor Cup at Johor Bahru today.
After winning start against Pakistan and defeat by the hands of Great Britain, Indian colts maintained their positive result against the Latin Americans and defeated them in all aspects of the game. Armaan, Gurjant and Nilkanta scored for India while Casena and Keenan scored for Argentina in well contested match.
The game commenced with aggressive attack from the Indian forward-line who charged on the opponent’s semi-circle from the very first minute. Surprised by the initial attack by the Indians, Argentina didn’t get enough time to react and failed to mark the Indian forwards. In the 3rd minute Arman Qureshi received a pass from the left-winger and after outplaying Argentinean goal-keeper Emiliano Bosso, he sent the ball into the goal-box. With this brilliant goal, India started dominating the game with their continuous charges and ball possession. Indian colts got their second success in the 11th minute when forward Gurjant Singh received a pass and he hit the ball hard into the nets for the second goal. Leading by two goals, spirited India maintained the pressure on the opponents from all sides. Arman and Gurjant led the attack with their fellow forwards Sumit Kumar and Parvinder Singh which helped put the Latin Americans on the back-foot. After a series of attacks, the Indians received a penalty corner in the 34th minute but failed to convert it and the first half finished at 2-0 in favour of India.
The second half started with an intense battle from both the sides and this time, Argentina put pressure on India. They managed to keep the ball in their possessions and looked for opportunities to open their account. In the 39th minute, the Argentina earned a penalty corner and their captain Maico Casella converted their first goal to reduce the margin to 1-2. After conceding the goal the Indians counter-attacked from all sides and fought hard to control the ball. Midfielders Santa Singh, Manpreet, Simranjeet Singh and skipper Harjeet Singh held the midfield with their quick passes and tried to create more opportunities for the forwards. In the 50th minute, India through a penalty corner opportunity scored their third goal coming from the stick Nilakanta Sharma, taking the score to 3-1. However, after conceding the third goal, the Argentineans charged back from the right flank and in the 54th minute, Nicolas Keenan perfectly deflected a pass into the nets for their second goal. But it was too late for Argentina to come back into the game and India won by 3-2.
India will face the host nation Malaysia in their fourth match of the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup at 6:05 pm on 15th October 2015.