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India takes honours first test in Argentina. (1/19/2009)
--Press Release
India beat Argentina 2-1 in the first Test of the Four Match Series at the Panam National Stadium at Mar del Plata, Argentina today.

Both the goals were scored by striker Deepak Thakur as India led 1-0 at half time.

Matias Paredes reduced the margin for Argentina.

The hosts began full press and got their first penalty corner in the 4th minute but goalkeeper Baljit Singh foiled the dragflick of Juan Ignacio Gilardi.

India soon settled down with controlled midfield play from VS Vinaya and Gurbaj Singh constantly setting up forwards Rajpal Singh, Tushar Khandker (This is the CORRECT Spelling) and Prabhjot Singh.

India should have taken the lead in the 7th min when Rajpal sent a sizzling cross to Thakur, but the Indianoil striker's deflection was well taken by Argentina goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi and off the rebound Thakur shot wide.

Argentina attempted numerous forays with rapid interchanges and overheads but they were superbly checked by deep defender and old India warhorse Dilip Tirkey.

However on one occasion Mario Almada managed to get past Tirkey but Baljit Singh dived to his right to bring off a spectacular save.

India took the lead in the 18th min with a forwardline combo as Rajpal intercepted in the centre to set up Khandker. The wily Jhansi lad pushed to the overlapping Prabhjot who dodged past two Argentine defenders before the release to Thahur who did not miss.

Argentina missed two chances to restore parity from penalty corners soon after as Pedro Ibarra's flicks was saved by Baljit.

India nearly scored another goal in the 28th min after the forwards combined to open Argentina's defence seams but custodian Vivaldi checked Thakur's deflection.

India earned their first penalty corner three minutes later after Gilardi body checked Shivendra Singh. The new Indian skipper Sandeep Singh could not beat Vivaldi with his power packed dragflick.

Argentina picked up the match pace in the second half and created spaces from their midfield where Lucas Rey and Tomas Argento fed accurately to the wings.

The hosts earned another penalty corner in the 37th min after a soft give away by Rajpal. India was lucky to survive after Gilardi's indirect was stopped on the goal line by Khandker.

Soon after in the 41st min India found the mark again after Sandeep Singh sent an accurate slapshot into the Argentine circle where it was not controlled by Facundo Callioni. The ever ready Deepak Thakur seized the opportunity and pushed past bewildered Vivaldi.

Thakur again led a sortie shortly after which resulted in another penalty corner for India, The well executed flick by Sandeep was saved on the line by Matias Vila to India's disappointment.

India conceded two more soft penalty corners as captain Sandeep Singh was found wanting in his defensive tackles. However Argentina could not capitalize as Baljit again stood out.

The uninterrupted attacks continued on India but Argentina were unsuccessful to bring one back with a backhand attempt by Rodrigo Vila, followed by Mario Almada and Lucas Vila.

Argentina finally reduced the margin in the 65th min as they converted a penalty corner deflection by Matias Paredes.

The second test will be played here tomorrow.

Adhoc Committee IHF Media Release

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