India lose to Argentina, almost out of hockey title race

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Hockey 1
Ipoh (Malaysia), May 30: Five-time champions India's title hopes were almost dashed after they went down to Argentina 2-3 in a crucial match of the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here on Wednesday. India suffered from their inability to capitalise on openings and also a feeble defence, which allowed Argentina to call the shots. India also wasted a penalty corner in the sixth minute when Sandeep Singh's rising flick was deflected out by a defender.

Argentina went ahead in the 37th minute when Matias Paredes scored a field goal. A minute later, Santiago Montelli's strike increased the lead.India's Sardar Singh pulled one back in the 48th minute. But the Pan American champions made it 3-1 over their Asian rival when Gonzalo Peillat converted a penalty corner in the 58th minute. V R Raghunath made it 3-2 at the 61st minute. India maintained the pressure on the Argentine defence for the last few minutes but failed to find the equaliser.

India have now lost three of their five matches. They will take on Pakistan in the last league match on Thursday. Argentina, on the other hand, have boosted their tally to nine points with three successive wins.

PTI

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