Indian men's hockey team produced a resilient performance as they bounced back from two goals down to play out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Argentina in their fourth match of the 6 Nations Invitational tournament.
An exciting first half started off slowly, as Argentina took control of the ball early in the first quarter, trying to carve inroads into the Indian defence. The opening goal would come seconds before the hooter, Matias Paredes netting it to give Argentina the lead going into the break.
Virtually from the restart, India carved the Argentina defence open with a sweeping move, that ended with Ramandeep fouled at the goalmouth with only the goalkeeper to beat. India were awarded a stroke, which Rupinder Pal Singh subsequently scored to draw the teams level.
Argentina hit back soon though, first through a PC conversion by Gonzalo Peillat and then via Lucas Vila's field goal. Argentina went into halftime with a 3-1 lead in the game.
India rallied together in the second half and came out stronger, taking control of the midfield and not allowing Argentina possession in the centre of the park. Despite the early pressure though, their final pass wasn't enough to break down the Argentina defence.
India had their first PC in the final minutes of the third quarter, but Rupinder Pal Singh's high flick was saved by the Argentine goalkeeper to ensure they went into the final break with their two-goal lead intact.
India had it all to do in the final quarter, and started off, again, in control, pushing the ball quickly within their ranks and causing Argentina problems in their circle. This time, they made the pressure count. After an exchange of passes on the right wing, the ball dropped to Danish Mujtaba in the circle. Under pressure, Danish managed to get the ball away towards Ramandeep, whose tap in cut the gap to one.
Galvanised by the goal, India threw on a slew of attackers and soon the trio of Ramandeep, Sunil and Akashdeep were causing Argentina problems in defence. Soon the pressure told, Devindar closed in behind the Argentina defence, to score a superb goal in the 57th minute to draw the two teams level.
Argentina had a PC denied by Sreejesh minutes later, before India, now in the ascendancy pushed to complete the come back. Argentina's defence held on to ensure the teams split the honours.