India beat the Olympic champions Argentina 3-2 in the first of the two FIH Hockey Pro League match at Buenos Aires.
In a thrilling, fast-paced contest, Harmanpreet 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 Argentina into a 2-1 lead at half time. However, India's Harmanpreet Singh's dramatic equaliser ensured the game finished with the scores locked at 2-2 when just six seconds of the match was remaining.
With the scoreboard reading 2-1 at the start of the deciding quarter, the contest went down to the wire with both teams stepping on the gas. Desperate for a win after losing to Germany in the double-header last week, the Olympic Champions Argentina were resolute in their efforts while India worked the yards vying for an elusive goal. In the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Harmanpreet Singh slapped the ball from the top of the circle towards the goal but Lalit Upadhyay couldn't get his stick on the ball for a deflection. Pressure mounted on India in the dying minutes of the match with two of their key players Varun Kumar and Mandeep Singh sitting out of the game with a yellow card. But Skipper Manpreet Singh's valiant effort in the final moments ensured a successful outing for the visitors. "I think the biggest take away from this match is our fighting spirit. We didn't lose hope until the last minute and we fought back really hard to earn this result," stated an elated Harmanpreet Singh whose equalizer set-up an exciting shootout.
In a penalty shootout, with brilliant goalkeeping from PR Sreejesh, India sealed a 3-2 win over Argentina.