FIH Pro League: Mandeep's last-minute goal seals India's dramatic win over Argentina

Mandeep Singh scored a last-minute decisive goal against Argentina Hockey India

Mandeep Singh scored a last-minute decisive goal as the Indian men's hockey team beat Argentina 4-3 in a dramatic second match of their FIH Pro League tie, to avenge their first-game shoot-out defeat.

Drag-flicker Jugraj Singh struck two powerful penalty corners (20th and 52nd minute) after Hardik Singh scored off a PC in the 17th minute and Mandeep deflected a long pass into Argentina goal with just 26 seconds left in the match to seal the tie. Della Torre Nicolas (40th), Domene Tomas (51st) and Ferreiro Martin (56th) scored for Argentina.

After Sunday's win, India remained at second spot in the league standings with 16 points from eight matches, behind Netherlands. Argentina also remained at fourth spot with 11 points from six matches.

After a barren first quarter, India upped the ante in the second quarter with two goals in the space of three minutes at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. Varun Kumar's PC drag-flick was saved by the Argentine goalkeeper but the ball fell to Hardik who slammed home to give India the lead. Three minutes later, captain Amit Rohidas won another PC and Jugraj Singh stepped up and converted it.

The referee awarded a penalty stroke to Argentina in the second quarter but the decision was reversed after India took a review. Argentina then pressed hard in the third quarter and were rewarded with a goal from a PC through Nicolas in the 40th minute. India's Sumit squandered a chance soon after.

Then came the dramatic fourth quarter that yielded four goals. India were leading 2-1 but Tomas drew parity, scoring from a penalty stroke in the 51st minute. India responded immediately and took the lead again within a minute with Jugraj Singh's rocket-like drag flick hitting the roof of Argentinean net in the 52nd minute.

India thought they had scored their fourth goal and Jugraj's third of the match from a penalty corner but the decision was reversed after an Argentina review. It was ruled that the ball had not crossed the circle before Jugraj took the shot. Martin added insult to injury by scoring a field goal in the 56th minute to level the scores 3-3. But in a thrilling finish, Mandeep deflected a long pass into Argentina goal in the final minute.

India next play England in their two-legged FIH Pro League tie on April 2 and 3 in Bhubaneshwar.