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HWL Finals: India stunned by Argentina 0-1 in semis

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], December 8 (ANI): The Indian men's hockey team suffered a major blow as they bowed out of the Hockey World League (HWL) Finals after going down fighting 0-1 to world number one Argentina in the semi-finals of the tournament here at the Kalinga Stadium on Friday.

Coming into the match on the back of morale-boosting victory over Belgium, Indian players were determined to put up a good show against Argentina.

And that was quite visible from the very starting as they started making some aggressive moves from the first few minutes of the game.

Both teams tried hard to make the breakthrough, but none of them succeeded as the first quarter ended at 0-0.

In the 17th minute of the match, Argentina put themselves ahead via Gonzalo Peillat, who converted the penalty corner into a goal.

After taking the lead, the world number one side looked in total control of the game before they India's misery was increased further when forward Mandeep Singh was handed a yellow card to reduce the hosts down to 10 men.

Subsequently, India wasted back-to-back penalty corner opportunities in search for equalizer in the third and the fourth quarter of the match, but some brilliant defending by Argentina and goalkeeping the hosts every opportunity.

Though Akashdeep Singh got the best chance to score a goal in the 58th minute of the match, it was successfully denied by Argentina goalkeeper.

With the win, Argentina have made it to their first-ever finals of the tournament.

Earlier, India had booked their place in the last-four of the tournament when they claimed a stunning shoot-out victory over Belgium, a team that came into the contest on the back of three straight victories.

Argentina, on the other hand, stormed into the semi-finals after defeating England by 3-2 in the quarter-final match on Thursday.(

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