Tokyo Olympics: India beat defending champions Argentina to enter quarters
It was India's third win in the tournament
The Indian men's hockey team stormed into the quarterfinals of the Olympic Games with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over defending champions Argentina, scoring two goals in the final two minutes of its penultimate pool match on Thursday.
After goalless first two quarters, India broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute through Varun Kumar before Vivek Sagar Prasad (58th) and Harmanpreet Singh (59th) struck in the closing minutes of the match to seal the contest.
It was India's third win in Pool A at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
Argentina's lone goal came from a penalty corner conversion by Schuth Casella in the 48th minute.
By virtue of this win, India have consolidated their position in the second spot of Pool A with three wins and one loss out of four games, behind Australia.
Argentina are struggling at the fifth spot in the six-team pool and need to beat New Zealand in their final preliminary match on Friday to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth.
“Good performance today. This is what Argentina can do, they sit back in the game, and then all of a sudden they score a corner. But what was good is that we didn't let that frustrate us, we stayed patient and stuck with the game plan,” India’s chief coach Graham Reid's said after the match.
“I'm very happy, it can be a bit stressful too for me but we just now need to play well against our next opponent - Japan. We need to play it as though it is the quarterfinals and we will be keeping an eye on what happens in the other pool at the same time.”
The top-four make the last-eight stage from each group.
India will play hosts Japan in their final pool match on Friday.
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