There were no unwarranted expectations attached to the team which traveled to Rio. There was just elation about making it there after 36 years. Yet, when they walked onto the pitch to face Argentina, they still had hopes of making it through, and that came to a grinding halt with a 0-5 defeat.
Argentina dominated possession from the start of the game, and Indian goalkeeper Savita was forced into an early save by Maria Campoy in the 7th minute. It was just a sign of things to come. India managed to keep them at bay for most of the first quarter, but in the last second, Argentina earned a penalty corner when Namita Toppo committed a foul inside the circle. Argentine captain Carla Rebecchi stepped up to take the penalty corner, but her low drive was brilliantly kept out by Savita.
However, Argentina took the lead just seconds into the second quarter through Martina Cavallero. Carla
In the 22nd minute, Maria
An own goal from India made it 4-0 in the 26th minute. Argentina moved the ball well down the left flank, and a shot by Agustina Albertarrio from a
The half did not end fast enough for India, who were taken apart by a brilliant Argentine side. After all the grit and resolve the girls had shown so far in the event, despite the gulf between themselves and their competitors, they wilted under the pressure. Coach Andrew Neil Hawgood was devastated, as he held his forehead, and looked a sorry figure on the sidelines.
After the meltdown of the second quarter, India came out in the third quarter looking much more composed. Perhaps, the fact that they were once again playing without the pressure of any expectation helped them to regain their feet in the match. India had a goal disallowed in the 44th minute, but it would have only been a consolation.
The match ended 5-0 in favour of Argentina, and India