Sunday, April 14, 2024

FIH Hockey Pro League: India beat Spain in a shootout after 2-2 draw – N.F Times

Rourkela: P.R Sreejesh’s heroics in the shootout saw India pull off a thrilling 8-7 shootout win against Spain after the two teams tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time in their fifth match of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium here on Monday.

Sreejesh made one save in the shootout, while Harmanpreet Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Abhishek, Raj Kumar Pal converted their chances to help India bag a bonus point.

Jarmanpreet Singh (1st min) and Abhishek (35th min) scored a goal each for India, while Jose Basterra (3rd min) and Borja Lacalle (15th min) were on the scoresheet for Spain in regulation time.

India started the game on an aggressive note as Jarmanpreet Singh scored an excellent field goal in the first minute from an acute angle. Spain responded well after going down and started playing a fast counter-attack game, which helped them earn a PC. Spain equalised as Jose Basterra (3rd min) found the back of the net.

India kept constant pressure on Spain’s defenders. Akashdeep earned a PC soon but Harmanpreet Singh’s shot went wide.

With just seconds remaining in the end of the first quarter, Spain took lead as Borja Lacalle (15th min) found the back of the net after receiving a pass from the Spain’s captain Marc Miralles from the right flank.

At the beginning of the second quarter, India made an aggressive start in the opening minutes as they put pressure on Spain’s defence with constant attacks. India enjoyed greater possession of the ball but the Spain’s defence was tough in not allowing the Indian forwards to equalize. Going into the half-time, Spain led India by 2-1.

With India trying to find ways to bounce back, the third quarter was entertaining with both teams displaying quick-fire hockey and both stepping up the ante in attack. With India putting constant pressure on Spain’s defenders, India earned a PC on which they capitalized as Abhishek (35th min) reacted quickly and fired the ball in the back of the net to make the score 2-2. At the end of the third quarter, the score was tied at 2-2.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, India started mounting more pressure on Spain. With constant attacking moves, India earned a PC with six minutes remaining but failed to convert as Amit Rohidas’s shot was blocked well by the Spain goalkeeper. Sreejesh made some superb saves in the last five minutes of the game as the Spain gave their all, but couldn’t find the back of the net, ending the regulation time in a 2-2 scoreline.

India will face The Netherlands in their fourth match on Wednesday.


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