India successfully ended their campaign in Cenard, Buenos Aires with a 2-2 (3-2 SO) and 3-0 double-header win in the FIH Hockey Pro League tie against Argentina over the weekend.
They had built up to these crucial matches against the Olympic Champions with a solid 4-3 win and 4-4 draw in the first two practice matches and ended the tour with a 0-1 loss and 4-2 win in the third and four practice matches respectively.
But skipper Manpreet Singh has cautioned his teammates about reading too much into the results against the champion outfit.
"No doubt winning against a really strong team like Argentina in their home ground is a big confidence booster, but we shouldn't read too much into the results. We need to keep our heads down and remain focused on the areas that require improvement basis our performance here. Our task is not over until we stand on the podium in Tokyo," Manpreet said in a Hockey India release.
Manpreet also highlighted that the team's ability to come back into the game after an early setback is a big takeaway from the tour. The skipper set up a brilliant penalty corner in the final 30 seconds of the first Pro League tie against Argentina which was successfully converted by his deputy Harmanpreet Singh, resulting in the match going into a shootout.
"After the matches, we feel there are a few areas we need to improve upon. While we did well as a team to come back into the game even in the dying minutes of the match, we feel we could have started better. Also playing consistently, keeping up the pressure on the opponents in all quarters is another area we need to work on," he stated.
Upon returning to SAI, Bengaluru early next week, the team will dissect these matches further and work on specific areas before they leave for Europe where they will play six FIH Hockey Pro League matches. They are scheduled to take on Great Britain on May 8 and 9 in London followed by a doubleheader against Spain in Valencia on May 15 and 16. They will play Germany in Hamburg on May 22 and 23.
( With inputs from ANI )
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