The Indian men’s hockey team registered consecutive victories against World No. 8 Spain, as they crushed the Spanish challenge 5-1 in their third match of tour of Belgium in Antwerp. After recording a 6-1 win against the same opposition on Saturday, the World No. 5 Indian team looked comfortable in the entire match as drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh scored another brace to lead his team to a convincing victory.
It was not a great start for the Indian team as they went a goal down in the third minute through Spain’s opening attack. Spain’s Iglesias Alvaro scored the opening goal of the match to mount pressure on the Indians. However, high on confidence from their two wins in the opening two matches, India responded with the equaliser in the fifth minute as Akashdeep Singh scored a field goal to level it 1-1. The Indians looked comfortable in possession during the closing stages of the first quarter and forced the Spanish goalkeeper into making a save off a penalty corner.
S V Sunil also marked his return to the team with a wonderful strike in the second quarter to give India a 2-1 lead. It was in the 20th minute that the forward ran inside from the right flank, and struck the ball past Quico Cortes. Spain did try to make a comeback into the match, but could not create enough opportunities before the half-time break as India maintained their 2-1 advantage.
The Indian team started the third quarter with a flurry of good opportunities inside the Spanish circle, and it was in the 35th minute that forward Ramandeep Singh scored India’s third goal for the day. Indians dominated possession and created regular chances. The 41st minute saw Harmanpreet Singh convert a penalty corner to make it 4-1 in India’s favour.
The last quarter saw a similar tale as India produced some outstanding team moves with their pressing and quick passing. The World No. 5 team scored their fifth goal of the match as Harmanpreet stepped up yet again to convert another penalty corner and score his second goal of the match, making it four goals in the last two matches. Spain could not trouble the Indian defenders as much as they would have liked in the remaining few minutes and ended up losing 1-5 to the Indian team.