India squandered their hard-earned lead on two occasions as they slumped to their second successive defeat losing 2-4 to World Cup bronze medallists Argentina in the Hero Champions Trophy, in Bhubaneshwar on Sunday.
India’s perennial problem, their fragile backline came to hurt them again as their lead didn’t even last a minute on both the occasions in the second Pool B match of the day, played in-front of 7000 strong capacity crowd at the Kalinga Stadium.
For India, Akashdeep Singh (30th) and Gurjinder Singh (37th) scored the goals, while Lucas Villa (30th), Juan Lopez (37th), Gustin Mazzilli (49th) and Joaquin Menini (59th) found the net for the winners.
While Indian forwards created chances, the defence were chasing shadows on a number occasions when the Argentines counter-attacked.
Today’s loss was India’s second on the trot in the tournament after the close 0-1 defeat against Olympic champions Germany on Saturday.
India will face the Netherlands in their last pool match on Tuesday, which will decide their quarterfinal opponent, while Argentina will be up against Germany.
It was end-to-end hockey in the first quarter but goals eluded both the teams.
India had the first clear chance in the 8th minute but wasted it. It was a great opening down the right from a counter-attack but Nikkim Thimmaiah over ran Lalit Upadhay’s defence splitting diagonal ball.
Minutes later Indian goalie PR Sreejesh came to the picture, when he easily gloved away Juan Lopez’s shot.
Argentina got their first penalty corner in the 16th minute but it went in vain as they failed to stop the push.
Indian players looked a little out of sorts in the first quarter and were found wanting in front of the opposition striking circle.