The India men hockey fought back and won the series by winning two matches after losing opening match of the series against Spain. India forward player Ramandeep Singh’s two spectacular goals within a minute helped the Indian team to outplay Spain by 4-2 in the match played in Terrassa, Spain.
Spain had defeated India by 4-1 in first match, while India leveled the series by winning 2nd match with score board reading 2-0. With India winning third match, they finished as winner of the series by 2-1.
The first quarter started with a brisk pace as both the team competed to dominate in the early stage of the game. After a barrage of attacks in the opening minutes, Spain managed to earn a penalty corner but an alerted PR Sreejesh kept the ball away from the net. Indian forwards counter-attacked in the next moment and kept on pressing for goals but did not find enough space against a formidable Spanish defence. After an intense tussle from both sides, the first quarter did not see any goal as the Teams finished 0-0.
The second quarter commenced with the same intensity, but this time both India and Spain changed their tactics and started playing the long ball game. Chinglensana Singh penetrated the Spanish circle twice, but failed to convert the attempts in goals. The Indians however earned a penalty corner in the 24th minute, which was perfectly converted into the first goal by drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh and helped his team to take an early lead of 1-0. However, Spanish team struck back in the next minute (25th) as Ricardo Santana dribbled past the India defenders and scored the equaliser for his team. After the goal, both the teams played defensive game for a few minutes and finished the quarter at 1-1 score-line.
In the third quarter, both the teams entered the field with different strategies and game-plans to tackle each other. The Indian forwards tested the Spanish defence again and attacked from all sides. Against the run of play, the Indian defenders fouled on the Spanish striker which resulted in penalty corner in favour of Spain. However, Sreejesh continued his good form to keep the score at 1-1. The Spanish team tried to slow down the Indian pace but the Indian players attacked relentlessly to put pressure on their opponents. In the last few minutes, India earned a penalty corner but this time Rupinder Pal’s flick went wide of the post. In the 45th minute, Akashdeep Singh sneaked into the Spanish circle and managed to dribble-past defenders before hitting the ball in the goal box for another lead. The third quarter finished at 2-1 score in favour of India.
In the fourth quarter, the Spain put an extra player in their attacking line-up to score goals and equalise the score-card. The Spanish players attacked the Indian defence more fiercely but they faced India’s strong defence line, who denied their attacks. After a few attempts, Spain equaled the score 2-2 in the 49th minute with a field goal scored by Xavier Lleonart. After conceding the goal, India counter-attacked the very next minute and looked for more opportunities. Banking on the long ball passes from teammates, Ramandeep managed to sneak into the Spanish defence in the 50th minute and scored the third goal for his team. Moments later, he kept his cool to score another goal in the 50th minute, which gave India a 4-2 lead. Spain got a chance to come-back in the dying moments of the game but Sreejesh stood up as a wall to deny the Spanish side again. India, after losing the first game and came back strongly in the final two, finished the European Tour on a high.