The Indian women’s hockey team suffered a humiliating 0-5 loss against higher-ranked Argentina in their final Pool B fixture to end their campaign at the Rio Olympics on Saturday.
Martina Cavallero (16th minute, 29th), Maria Granatto (23rd), Carla Rebecchi (26th) and Agustina Albertarrio (27th) scored for Argentina, while India drew a blank to slump to their fourth successive loss in the Rio Games at the Olympic hockey centre.
With this loss, India finished their six-team Pool B campaign on a disappointing note after returning to women’s Olympic hockey since their 1980 appearance.
The Indian eves were beaten comprehensively by Australia (1-6), Great Britain (0-3) and USA (0-3) in the last three matches. They had drawn their opening match against Japan 2-2.
Up against the London Games silver medallists, India cut a sorry figure as Argentina made a mockery of their defence, pumping in as many as five goals in the second quarter itself to dash any hope of a miracle early in the match.
Argentina held the possession for most part of the first quarter but India did well to keep them at bay before they earned a PC at the last minute of the first quarter. But Savita pulled off a spectacular save as a goalless Q1 came to an end.
But all the hard work evaporated in the second quarter when Argentina drew the first blood in the 16th minute after earning a penalty corner.
It was Carla Rebecchi who took the strike and even though Savita saved it, Martina Cavallero hit through her legs on the rebound to help Argentina take the lead.
Maria Granatto then doubled the lead with a field goal in the 23rd minute.
Three minutes later, skipper Carla Rebecchi converted another Penalty Corner to make it 3-0 for her team.
Agustina Albertarrio then made it 4-0 in the 27th minute after her reverse hit from outside the ‘D’ found the back of the net after getting deflected from the stick of an Indian defender near the goalpost.
Two minutes later, Cavallero scored her second goal of the match as she found the back of the net after being feed by Merino Delfina. Argentina ended the second quarter 5-0.
India played better in the third quarter but failed to reduce the margin despite getting a few chances. In the 40th minute, India earned a penalty corner but failed to make it count. Then Poonam Rani’s strike was saved by the goalkeeper.
One minute before the end of the third quarter, India almost had scored their first goal when a diving Anuradha Thokchom tried to send the ball inside the post amidst the goal-mouth melee but their video referral was disallowed.
In the fourth quarter, Vandana and Deepika made inroads in the rival D but failed to convert the chances. Rani too could not convert a penalty corner to go down meekly in the end.