WORLD CUP NEWS : On home turf, India lost 3-2 to Spain in the third match of the first FIH Hockey Pro League season in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium.
The Spanish started the game with better control of the ball and a 2-0 first-half lead, giving them the upper hand. Despite India’s late comeback, Spain won the match thanks to a goal by Marc Reyne in the 57th minute. The Spanish were especially dangerous on the wings since they launched so many strikes from there.
Despite a close first quarter, Harmanpreet’s error allowed Spain to score on a penalty corner in the 17th minute. Sreejesh made a save attempt, but Eduard De Ignacio sent the rebound directly into the back of the goal off of a deflection off of Sreejesh’s pads. India made its own chances but failed to capitalize on any of them. In the 20th minute, young Raj Kumar Pal had a golden opportunity to score but missed the goal by inches. Then, Spain’s captain Marc Miralles scored to put his team up by two.
FIH TEAM SPAIN
Indian penalty corners were converted by Harmanpreet Singh, the team’s captain, after a combination by Mandeep and Hardik. The left side was where India posed the most threat since Spain gave them so much room to maneuver. At halftime, Spain led 1-0, but after the break, it was the Men in Blue who stepped up.
There was a lot of back-and-forth action in the third quarter as both sides attempted and failed to get into the other team’s territory. In the fourth, Spanish goalkeeper Adrian Rafi was the hero, making many spectacular stops to prevent the Indian strikers from scoring again. Nonetheless, Abhishek made the decisive play that evened the score.
Max Caldas’s guys are notoriously resilient, and that trait was on full display today. Spain maintained constant pressure, and in the end, Marc Reyne was able to score past Indian goalie Krishan B Pathak to win the game.
Jordi Bonastre, the man of the match, was pleased with his team’s performance. “It was a difficult game today but our squad played together and we delivered,” he said. As we take a vacation for three to four days, we want to maintain our recent winning streak.
Senior Indian player Manpreet Singh observed, “We had ample opportunities but couldn’t convert any of them,” indicating that India’s performance today was worse than their performance against New Zealand. We’re going to have a meeting, watch the footage together to figure out where we went wrong, and then come back much more prepared.
Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, will host India’s next match against New Zealand on November 4, 2022, at 7:00 PM IST.