Dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh scored yet another brace as Indian men's hockey team made it three wins on the trot in the tour of Belgium with a 5-1 thrashing of Spain on Sunday in Antwerp. Akashdeep Singh scored the first goal for Graham Reid's men while goals from S.V. Sunil, Ramandeep Singh and a brace from Harmanpreet Singh helped India cruise to a second straight victory against the European runner-up.
Spain started on an aggressive note and went ahead in the 3rd minute through Alvaro Iglesias' strike. It did not take India too long to score the equaliser as Akashdeep Singh's 5th-minute strike pulled the Men in Blue level. In the 11th minute, Spanish custodian Quico Cortez made a brilliant save to thwart Harmanpreet's drag-flick as both teams ended the first quarter on level terms.
Veteran striker S.V. Sunil put India in the lead in the 20th minute when he latched on to a through ball from the midfield and finished from close range.
India looked intent on extending its slender lead as it dominated the possession in the second half. The intensity paid off as forward Ramandeep Singh made it 3-1 in the 35th minute with a field goal. Harmanpreet Singh(41',51'), who scored in Saturday's 6-1 victory, added gloss to the scoreline by converting two penalty corners.
It was a memorable outing for Indian goalkeeper Krishan Pathak who saved three penalty corners in the final minutes to deny Spain a second goal.
India will next face reigning World and European champion Belgium in the second Test match on Sunday, beginning at 5.30 pm IST.
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