The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey Team produced a fine display to register their place in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games as they defeated hosts Argentina 3-1 in their Semi-Final match held here at the Parque Polideportivo Roca on Saturday.
Sudeep Chirmako (12′, 18′) and Rahul Kumar Rajbhar (3′) scored for India as they secured a Medal by defeating hosts Argentina, for whom Captain Facundo Zarate scored in the 4th minute.
A tough encounter for the Indian team saw them score an important first goal in the 3rd minute as Rahul Kumar Rajbhar beat the Argentine Goalkeeper Nehuen Hernando to give his team the lead.
However, Argentina were quick to equalize as they scored through Facundo Zarate in the 4th minute to set up an exciting Semi-Final.
Both the teams had chances in the remaining six minutes of the first period but both the Goalkeepers made some fine saves to keep the scores locked at 1-1 at half-time.
In the second period, India maintained pressure in the opening couple of minutes and benefited from it as they took the lead in the 12th minute through Sudeep Chirmako who produced a fine finish to swing the match in India’s favour.
India’s Goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan kept his team in the lead as he was called into action again in the next few minutes to deny the hosts of an equalizer.
Whereas, India’s attackers also created chances and were successful again in the 18th minute as Sudeep Chirmako scored his second goal of the match to secure a two-goal advantage for the Indian team.
Argentina tried to make a comeback in the dying minutes but the match was well managed by the Indian team as the defenders denied the hosts of any real chances to see the match out and secure a place in the Final of the competition.
The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey team will face their Asian counterparts Malaysia in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition on 14th October 2018 at 23.30hrs IST.