India’s Harmanpreet Singh scored a dramatic equaliser with just six seconds of the match remaining before his team won the shoot-out against reigning Olympic champions Argentina, claiming a bonus point in the first of two FIH Hockey Pro League encounters in Buenos Aires this weekend.

In a thrilling, action-packed contest between two evenly matched opponents, it was Harmanpreet who gave India a 1-0 lead with a superbly executed penalty corner early in the second quarter before a quick-fire double from Martin Ferreiro put Los Leones into a 2-1 lead at half time.

Argentina held onto their lead until the dying seconds of the match, when Harmanpreet stepped up to the mark to tie the scores with a second-phase penalty corner to ensure that the game finished with the scores locked at 2-2.

The draw guaranteed a point for each team, but it was the visitors who would walk away with the bonus point thanks largely to some brilliant goalkeeping from PR Sreejesh, who did enough to deny Lucas Vila, Martin Ferreiro and Ignacio Ortiz before Dilpreet Singh sealed a 3-2 win in the one-on-ones with a cool finish against veteran Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi.

The result sees India move ahead of Argentina up to fifth in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, having claimed 12 points from seven matches. Argentina sit sixth, with 11 points from 11 games played.

I think the most important thing from today is that we never gave up”, said India’s Harmanpreet, who was named Player of the Match. “We were fighting until the last minute, and that is why we got a result here.”

When asked about what his team need to improve on in Sunday’s second meeting, Harmanpreet said: “We got lots of cards today, so I think we need to improve on that. We need to keep that in mind so in the next match, we don’t get any cards.”

The two teams will face each other again on Sunday (11 April).

FIH Hockey Pro League - Men
Saturday 10 April 2021 – Buenos Aires (ARG)

Argentina 2, India 2 (2-3 After Shoot-Out) [Match 1 of 2]
Player of the Match: Harmanpreet Singh (IND)
Umpires: German Montes de Oca (ARG), Carolina de la Fuente (ARG) and Irene Presenqui (ARG)