Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of India's third Tokyo 2020 hockey game against Spain. This was Dominic Richard taking you through the action as it unfurled at the Oi Hockey Stadium on Tuesday.
Thanks for tuning in!
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Indian Hockey action for the day comes to an end. However, you can still follow Sportstar's Tokyo 2020 Olympics live blogs for various other sports through the links provided below.
INDIA IN ACTION |
SHOOTING BLOG |
With wins over New Zealand and the Spaniards, the Indians move to the second spot in Pool A, thanks mainly to a brace from Rupinder Pal Singh and a field goal from Simranjeet Singh. Australia stays top of the group.
MATCH REPORT |
India has made a strong comeback after losing 1-7 to Australia in its previous game. The team's defence especially was top notch today as Spain struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout the match.
AND THE GAME COMES TO AN END! INDIA BEATS SPAIN 3-0!!!
59' Spain is winning free-hit after free-hit here. But it is not capitalising on the chances provided. This might be the end of the tournament for the Spaniards.
56' Only Mandeep and Dilpreet Singh are making moves forwards for India. The side is determined to finish this match on a defensive high.
53' Pau Quemada wastes three penalty corners in a row for Spain. This has been the story of the day. The Spanish players haven't been able to add the finishing touches to promising attacking moves.
51' GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! INDIA TAKES A 3-0 LEAD!!! Rupinder completes his double after scoring off a penalty corner this time around.
50' WHAT A CHANCE FOR SPAIN! Lleonart did well to evade a few tackles and set up Alejandro Alonso at close range. However, India's Surender Kumar blocked the latter's shot.
48' India has resorted to full-fledged defending in the last quarter. Spain is taking numbers forward during attacks. The Indian back line has been solid so far. The team is one counter-attack away from scoring a third.
THE FOURTH AND FINAL QUARTER IS UNDERWAY!
Spain has exactly 15 minutes left on the clock to mount a comeback against India in this encounter.
THE THIRD QUARTER IS OVER!
45' DRAMA! Marc Bolto finds the back of the net after the hooter. But the Spanish players use a referral and win a penalty corner, which was won in the build-up before the Bolto shot. India successfully defends the PC.
43' WASTED OPPORTUNITY! Spanish midfielder Vicenc Ruiz isn't able to control a pass from a teammate properly as India regains posession.
41' Mandeep Singh gets a chance to shoot up front. But the Indian forward's effort is blocked. Spain initiates a counter-attack now.
38' SAVE! Cortes comes to Spain's rescue yet again. India has dominated possession in the last few minutes. The Spaniards are kind of struggling in the middle.
36' Spain skipper Miguel Delas receives a yellow card due to an additional Spanish player on the field. He will spend some time out due to the 12-player offence.
34' SHOT! India had numbers forward during a counter-attack. Dilpreet Singh's cross attempt was blocked by Spain keeper Francisco Cortes.
32' An early attack from Spain. Xavier Lleonart and David Alegre come up with some quick passing and enter the Indian 'D'. India's defenders stay alert and avert the danger.
THE THIRD QUARTER STARTS!
India holds a 2-0 lead over Spain at the end of the first half. Thirty minutes to go, stay tuned!
THE SECOND QUARTER IS DONE AND DUSTED!
30' CHANCE FOR INDIA! Hardik Singh shows off his skill and gets past several opposition players on the right flank. However, he isn't able to release a proper strike up front.
27' Spain has clearly dominated the second quarter but the team has struggled with its finishing on the field. It has attempted nine shots in total, with hardly anything on target.
24' ANOTHER PC FOR SPAIN! This was initially given as a free hit, but on referral the Spaniards win a penalty corner. Quemada shoots it just wide yet again.
22' Indian head coach Graham Reid has been a bit animated on the sidelines today. He's constantly shouted out instructions to his players in the middle so far.
20' SHOT! David Alegre makes a decent move forward for Spain on the left flank. He eventually takes a shot from a narrow angle. However, Sreejesh makes a straightforward save.
17' PENALTY CORNER FOR SPAIN! Pau Quemada has a brilliant shot on target. But PR Sreejesh makes the save for India. Xavier Lleonart takes a shot off the rebound but it goes wide.
THE SECOND QUARTER IS UNDERWAY!
Goals from Simranjeet Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh have handed India the advantage against Spain after the opening 15 minutes.
THE FIRST QUARTER ENDS!
15' ANOTHER INDIAN GOAL!!!! IT'S 2-0 NOW!!! After a string of penalty corners, India won a penalty stroke. Rupinder Pal Singh converted it with ease.
14' GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! INDIA TAKES THE 1-0 LEAD!!! This was a lethal pass through the ground from the right flank. The Spanish defence was caught napping as the ball travelled past a few players and reached Simranjeet Singh, who slotted it into goal from close range.
12' PENALTY CORNER FOR SPAIN! The specialist PC-taker Pau Quemada is not on the field. Alejandro Alonso steps in with the drag flick in his absence. The Indian back line averts the danger.
9' WHAT A PASS! The substitute Simranjeet Singh played a delightful pass up front after getting past two opposition players. But his teammate Hardik Singh wasn't able to receive it properly.
7' The Spaniards are finally enjoying some possession. They are just playing an organised passing game, frustrating the Indians a bit.
4' SAVE! Indian skipper Manpreet Singh fired a pass forward from long. Mandeep Singh got a slight deflection on it. However, Spain goalkeeper Francisco Cortes saved the shot with his leg.
2' Some early dominance from India here. Spain looks rusty, having given away the ball cheaply a couple of times already.
AND THE MATCH BEGINS!
The players make their way out into the field, and it is time for the national anthems, which will be followed by the toss in the middle.
The team lineups are out!
INDIA XI: PR Sreejesh (GK), Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Manpreet Singh (C), Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sumit.
COACH - Graham Reid.
SPAIN XI: Francisco Cortes (GK), Alejandro Alonso, Marc Salles, Miguel Delas (C), Enrique Gonzalez, David Alegre, Roc Oliva, Llorenc Piera, Xavier Lleonart, Vicenc Ruiz, Pau Quemada.
COACH - Frederic Soyez,
Thoroughly outplayed by Australia, the Indian men's hockey team would be desperate to rebuild a shattered morale when it takes on a lower-ranked Spain in its third Pool A match of the Olympics in Tokyo on Tuesday.
After a fighting 3-2 win over New Zealand in their campaign opener, the Indians were completely steamrolled 1-7 by World No.1 Australia in their second game. The debacle exposed every possible chink in India's armour.
The mighty Kookaburras simply toyed with the Indian defence after the first quarter and scored goals at will to comfortably secure their second consecutive win in the competition. It was also India's biggest loss since Australian Graham Reid took charge of the team as coach in April 2019.
The fragile Indian defence was put under relentless pressure by Australia from the onset and in doing so, it succeeded in creating spaces in the midfield which resulted in as many as seven goals -- four in the first half and three in second.
After a hard-fought win against New Zealand, the Indians, ranked fourth in the world, looked completely listless against the Australians.
But having faced multiple adversities in the run-up to the Games, the Indians very well know how to bounce back and that is what chief coach Graham Reid would be banking on going into the tie against World No.9 Spain.
Going by the points table, India is currently placed fourth just below New Zealand on goal difference. The pool is being headed by Australia with two wins in as may matches, followed by reigning Olympic champion Argentina with four points.
Spain and host Japan are yet to register a win in the two matches they have played. The top four teams from a pool of six each will qualify for the quarterfinals.
India looked nowhere close to its best against Australia on Sunday as it failed to make even one of the six penalty corners count in the match despite having three world-class drag-flickers in Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Amit Rohidas in its ranks.
The forward line, led by Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lalit Upadhayay and Dilpreet Singh, too looked extremely off colour.
The ever-fragile back line was completely absent as the likes of Rupinder, Harmanpreet, veteran Birender Lakra and Rohidas were completely outplayed by the attacking Australia.
Experienced custodian P. R. Sreejesh wore the look of a disappointed man as he failed to stop the Australian surge.
But having said that it will be a completely different day on Tuesday for the Indians and chief coach Reid, who coached Australia at the Rio Olympics, said the Indians will have to utilise the chances that come their way.
"We simply have to put the ball in the net to put some scoreboard pressure on them and that means making use of the chances that come your way," he had said after Sunday's loss.
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Drawing references from the Euro 2017 championship in Amstelveen where the Netherlands lost 0-5 to Belgium but eventually beat the same team in the final, Reid added: "We are very wary about our morale being affected. We will make sure it won't happen again."
"We will look at what can be fixed and focus on the next training session and the next game. That's the mindset with which we wish to go ahead. Most importantly, we've got to put the ball in the goal."
Indian captain Manpreet said the side erred in man-to-man marking against Australia, an area which it needs to address going deep into the tournament.
"This is a lesson for us. We are disappointed but we must now focus on bouncing back. There are, after all, three matches to go in the pool stage," he said. "We missed chances at the start and that makes a difference when it happens against top sides."
Spain, on the other hand, would look to register its first victory in the tournament, having drawn 1-1 against Argentina before losing 3-4 to New Zealand on Sunday.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs):
- At what time will the Indian hockey team be in action?
The hockey game against Spain will start today at 6:30 AM IST (10 AM local time).
- Where to watch Indian events at Tokyo Olympics?
The Sony Sports Network will broadcast Tokyo Olympics live in India.
Sony TEN 3 HD/SD will telecast India events with Hindi commentary while Sony TEN 1 HD/SD and Sony TEN 2 HD/SD will have English commentary.
Live streaming of the events will be available on the SonyLIV and JioTV apps.
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