Dribbling skills showcased in field hockey are always a visual treat – something we starved off in modern hockey on Astroturf. At the Women Pro League first leg match between Argentina and Englandi n Buenos Aires, Maria Granatto brought her dribbling skills to the fore in front of a raucous home crowd in a game which the Las Leonas won 5-2.
The 25-year-old Argentinian forward created a phenomenal goal-scoring opportunity for her team-mate Julieta Jankunas – a move that would have even made Indian hockey legends such as Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh, Mohammed Shahid, Ashok Kumar, Dhanraj Pillay proud. With Last Leonas holding a cozy 4-2 lead going into the 55th minute of play, Granatto orchestrated a raid from the left flank and first dodged Anna Toman on the top of striking circle, and subsequently dribbled past England captain Hollie Pearne-Webb before wrong-footing Fiana Crackles and Laura Unsworth to set up a tap-in for Julieta Jankunas – her second goal of the match. In all, the two-time Olympian dribbled past four England defenders even as goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh was stunned to silence.
It was quite a sight to see Granatto weave her way a host of England defenders and create a facile goal-scoring opportunity for Julieta Jankunas. Of course, the record books would say Julieta Jankunas scored the fifth goal for Argentina, but the magnificent dribbling of Granatto will be etched in memory for a long time and will go down as the best goal-creating efforts of Women’s Pro League.