India begin Azlan Shah campaign against World No. 2 Argentina

Ipoh (Malaysia), Mar 2:
India will look to begin their campaign on a positive note when they take on World No. 2 Argentina in the opening game of the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey here tomorrow.
The Sardar Singh-led team put up a fight against World No. 1 Australia before going down 1-2 in a warm-up game yesterday.
Though the team lost with vice-captain Ramandeep Singh scoring India’s lone goal, chief coach Sjoerd Marijne was optimistic.
“We played three quarters against Australia to adjust to the humidity. I was happy with a lot of things. For the first match together with this new combination, we put a good performance and we will use this to prepare for the opening game against Argentina.”
India last played against Argentina in the World League Final in Bhubaneswar  where the hosts lost a place in the title-round after losing 0-1.
“Like I have said in the past, I don’t consider that result as the playing conditions were not normal. We played in incessant rain and the only thing we learnt from that match against Argentina is that they were better in such conditions,” stated Marijne.
Olympic champions Argentina, meanwhile, are in the city without the services of their celebrated coach Carlos Retegui who has resigned from the top job.
It was under the tutelage of Retegui that Argentina had won their only Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2008, beating India 2-1 in the final.
Though it will be interesting to see how the side does in the absence of Retegui, the squad remains strong with Gonzalo Peillat, Lucas Rossi, Juan Manuel Vivaldi, Pedro Ibarra, Matias Paredas. (PTI)