India’s captain Harmanpreet Singh guided India to thrash Spain in a shootout 3-1 after a 2-2 draw in its fourth FIH Hockey Pro League game at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.
Harmanpreet flicked the ball past the Spain goalkeeper’s left hand to net India’s first goal in the 11th minute.
After Surender Kumar received a green card in the 14th minute, India was 10 players down, Spain failed to take the corner opportunity. When Manpreet Singh received the green card in the 21st minute, a similar situation saw the visitor’s inability to convert yet another corner.
The Indian skipper scored his second goal of the game via a penalty corner in the 31st minute.
After several saves off corners, the Indian goalkeeper Krishnan Pathak failed to read Marc Miralles’s flick off a corner into the left corner in the 42nd minute, and Spain was a goal away from restoring parity. Pere Amat hit one onto Pathak, however, the ball hit Jugraj Singh’s leg and rolled to the goal, as Spain equalised score 2-2 in the 54th minute.
In the shootout, Harmanpreet secured a goal through a penalty stroke as Spanish keeper Mario Garin fouled. Apart from Shamsher Singh, whose back stick hit the ball and failed to secure a goal, Raj Kumar Pal and Abhishek managed to slide the ball past Garin. On the other hand, Pathak stood steady while he missed Gerard Clapes’s effort and the Indian managed to save Joaquin Menini, Rafael Vilallonga and Miralles’s attempts to guide India to a 3-1 shoot-out win.
India will play its next league game against Germany on March 10, 2023, at Rourkela.