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Gallant India goes down to the precision of Gonzal (12/8/2017)
--s2h team
A penalty corner that was unsuccessfully contested by Indian defence turned the tide in favour of Argentina in the first semifinal of the Hockey World League Finals in Bhubaneswar. The Rio gold medallist team held on to the slender 17th minute lead that they obtained converting the controversial penalty corner, till full time to enter their first HWL Final. Gonzalo Peillat's immaculate goal and his superb defensive skills led Argentina to such a laurel. Argentina were not world number one team a year before but obtained the label after Rio. Now they are on move to continue the top billing.

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Rio hero Gonzalo Peillat did not waste the lone penalty that his team got when a short rebound bounced dangerously from Harmanpreet Singh's stick which the Indian team referred quoting it was from an Argentina player's stick. Video umpire Coen van Bunge on could not come to a definitive conclusion, and led the field umpire's decision to go on while the appeal team will continue to enjoy another referral right. Which India used in the fourth quarter when Chinglensan Singh was tripped inside D, but did not find favour with Bunge now.

Gonzal's delayed, long drag, and resultant flick found home mid-height on the right inside netting (1-0). This 17th minute goal energized the world's number one team Argentina, and were on front foot throughout. Playing on the heavy pitch due to continuing rains, Indians were regrouping and building moves.

Argentinians resorted to short overheads on flanks and thus could move upfront more frequently, and trouble the Indian defence often.

India waged a spirited attack in the third and fourth quarters, but credit to Argentina defence the scoreboard did not move.

India got a hardearned penalty corner. Rupinderpal Singh aimed centre only to be deflected dangerously leading to another but this time goalkeeper blocked his slightly to the right drag, perfectly.

Akashdeep Singh got two chances to even out the score, once he gave away on top of D, in a one to one situation, to Gonzalo trying to short pass but the rival stick seemed longer enough to tick it away.

In a similar situation, he did not aim the goal but manufactured a penalty corner in stead, which Rupinder could not use fruitfully.

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Mandeep Singh got more chances than Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep Singh, but would not show enough nerves to make an impact.

In the opening quarter, early in the proceedings, SV Sunil ran deep down and sent a lightening cross, but a Argentina defender intercepted at the centre of field to ward off the early threat.

Both teams parted to pavilion with a goal in favour of Argentina.

India took out second half goalie Karkare and put the yellow jersey on Chinglensana, and the strategy really troubled Argentina. It was here Gonzalo led Argentina defence came out with colours.

Young Player: Harmanpreet Singh(Ind)
Man of the Match: Matias Rey (Arg)

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