India men’s and women’s team won silver medals each in the Hockey 5s competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina to take country’s tally to 10. The two medals on Day 8 push India’s medal count to 10 – 3 golds and 7 silver medals. India are 10th in the medals tally with Russia leading the way (43) ahead of Hungary (21) and China (25).
India men’s team went down 2-4 to Malaysia in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition at the Parque Polideportivo Roca on Sunday. Captain Vivek Sagar Prasad (3′, 6′) scored twice within the first six minutes of the match to give India a 2-1 lead, but the Malaysians struck thrice in the second period through Akhimullah Anuar (14′, 19′) and Arif Ishak (17′) to secure the victory, after Firadus Rosdi (5′) had equalized for them in the first period.
Later in the day, India women’s team suffered a similar fate in the final against Argentina. The U-18 Women’s Hockey team suffered a heart-breaking 1-3 loss to hosts Argentina. India’s Mumtaz Khan (1′) opened the scoring in the match after just 49 seconds, but the hosts scored thrice through Gianella Palet (7′), Sofia Ramallo (9′) and Brisa Bruggesser (12′) to secure the Gold Medal.
India men throw away twin leads
In a fiercely contested final, both teams started well but it was India who struck first through Prasad in the 3rd minute. However, Malaysia were not behind for long as Rosdi threatened the Indians in the 5th minute, and struck the equaliser in his second attempt to make it 1-1. Then, Prasad forced a save from the Malaysian goalkeeper Shahrul Saupi in the sixth minute and managed to beat the Malaysian in the same minute to give India the lead again. India ensured no change to the scoring up until the half-time whistle.
In the second period, however, India were under constant threat by Malaysia. After denying multiple attempts at levelling things, goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan was beaten for the second time in the match in the 14th minute as Akhimullah Anuar scored past him to level the match at 2-2. Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Sanjay, Shivam Anand, Rabichandra Moirangthem and Sudeep Chirmako, all had chances in the next couple of minutes but could not convert as Malaysia took the lead on the counter in the 17th minute through Ishak. Having taken a 3-2 lead, it was the Malaysian team who now started to dominate, and it was Anuar who popped up in the 19th minute to seal the Gold Medal win for his team.
India women go down to hosts Argentina
In the second match of the day and final of Hockey 5s in Buenos Aires, India women started the first period well as they attacked hosts Argentina from the opening whistle, and were rewarded after just 49 seconds with in-form Mumtaz scoring to give the team a crucial lead. However, Argentina put the pressure on their opponents to find the equaliser and were successful in their efforts as Gianella Palet (7′) and Sofia Ramallo (9′) scored to turn the match around and help their side to a 2-1 lead at the break.
The second period saw Argentina extend their dominance by holding the ball and not allowing the Indian team to find space or create chances. It was Argentina’s Brisa Bruggesser who had the first real chance of the second period in the 12th minute, and the midfielder made sure to extend the lead to make it 3-1. Argentina, backed by their home support in numbers, made sure that they managed the game well, as they kept possession and saw themselves through to the final whistle to register a historic Gold Medal.