Johor Bahru (Malaysia), Oct 14 (IANS) India registered their second victory in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup junior hockey tournament here defeating Argentina 3-2 on Wednesday. Arman Qureshi (third minute), Gurjant Singh (11th) and Nilakanta Sharma (50th) scored for the two-time defending champions, while Maico Casella (39th) and Nicolas Keenan (54th) scored for the Argentines. The game commenced with an aggressive attack from the Indians who charged on the opponent’s semi-circle from the very first minute. Surprised by the initial attack, Argentina didn’t get enough time to react and failed to mark the Indian forwards. In the 3rd minute, Qureshi received a pass from the left and dodged onrushing goalkeeper Emiliano Bosso to give India the crucial early lead. Forward Gurjant doubled India’s lead in the 11th minute.

Arman and Gurjant led the attack with the help from fellow forwards Sumit Kumar and Parvinder Singh and they put the Latin Americans on the backfoot. India got a penalty corner in the 34th minute but they failed to convert it and the first half finished 2-0 in their favour. In the second half, a desperate Argentina tried to bridge the gap with the Indians and their efforts bore fruit in the 39th minute in the form of a penalty corner that was converted by captain Casella. After conceding the goal, Santa Singh, Manpreet, Simranjeet Singh and skipper Harjeet Singh held the Indian midfield with their quick passes and controlled the match. In the 50th minute, India earned a penalty corner and Nilakanta stepped up to make it 3-1. However, after conceding the third goal, the Argentines attacked from the right flank and in the 54th minute, Keenan perfectly deflected a pass into the net for their second goal. But Argentina failed to equalise as India won 3-2 and took a big step in their bid to enter the semi-finals. On Thursday, India will face hosts Malaysia.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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