The Indian women’s hockey team took on Argentina’s junior side on Tuesday Cenard in Buenos Aires during their ongoing practice tour of Argentina. The national team seemed to be struggling with capitalising on the opportunities of penalty corners until captain Rani Rampal‘s strike helped the visitors secure a draw of 1-1. This was their second consecutive one as the opening match had ended with a 2-2 score.
India attacked from the start earning a penalty corner in the very first minute. But penalty specialist Gurjit Kaur dragged her shot wide so did Deep Grace Ekka in the fifth minute. The hosts started mounting an attack making India pay for their profligacy. Argentina scored their opening goal in the 13th minute from a penalty corner.
Playing in just their second competitive match in a year, the Indian girls did not back down from the challenge. They created several attacking opportunities but the goal remained elusive. The equalizer finally came just 12 minutes before the end. Navneet Kaur’s rapid injection from the penalty corner gave skipper Rani Rampal enough time and space she needed to shoot a powerful strike.
“That’s why we are here – to improve in every match”
Chief coach Sjoerd Marijne was impressed with India’s performance on the field. “Today the quality of play was better and that’s why we are here – to improve in every match,” Marijne said. “Today players got the chance to show their best and these are players who normally don’t get a chance to make the 18-member squad so it’s good they are able to get international exposure,” he said in a Hockey India release.
“It is also good for the core group that we are getting to try more players and see how different combinations work. We created enough opportunities to score more and this is an area we need to keep working on,” he added.
The Indian womens hockey team will continue with the practice tour of Argentina with a match against Argentina B on Friday.