29 September 2019
Antwerp (Belgium): The Indian Men's Hockey Team registered consecutive victories against World No. 8 Spain, as they beat the Spanish team 5-1 in their third match of Tour of Belgium held here on Sunday. After recording a 6-1 win against the same opposition on Saturday, the World No. 5 Indian team looked comfortable throughout the match as Harmanpreet Singh (41', 51') scored another brace to lead his team to a convincing victory.
It was not a great start for the Indian team though, as they went a goal down in the 3rd minute through Spain's opening attack. The World No. 8 team's Iglesias Alvaro scored the opening goal of the match to put the pressure on the Indians. However, high on confidence from their two wins in the opening two matches, India responded with the equalizer in the 5th minute as Akashdeep Singh scored a field goal to make it 1-1. The Indians looked comfortable in possession during the latter stages of the first quarter and forced the Spanish Goalkeeper into making a save off a Penalty Corner.
SV 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 that they benefited from it as Forward Ramandeep Singh scored India's third goal of the afternoon. Things started looking difficult for Spain as Indians dominated possession, and were creating regular chances. The 41st minute saw drag-flicker 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 Singh step 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.
The fourth match of the Tour of Belgium will see the Indian Men's Hockey Team face World No. 2 Belgium on Tuesday, 1st October 2019 at 1300 hrs IST.