India: Indian beat Spain 2-2 (8-7) in shootout of FIH Hockey Pro League

~Jarmanpreet Singh (1’) and Abhishek (35’) scored a goal each in regulation time~

Rourkela, 19th February 2024: PR Sreejesh’s heroics in the shootout saw India pull off a thrilling 8-7 shootout win against Spain in their fifth match of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium on Monday.

Sreejesh made one save in the shootout, while Harmanpreet Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Abhishek, Raj Kumar Pal converted their chances to help India bag a bonus point.

Jarmanpreet Singh (1’) and Abhishek (35’) scored a goal each for India, while Jose Basterra (3’) and Borja Lacalle (15’) were on the scoresheet for the Spain in regulation time.

India started the game on aggressive note as Jarmanpreet Singh (1’) scored an excellent field goal in the first minute from an acute angle. Spain responded well after going down and started playing a fast counter-attack game, which helped them earn a PC. Spain equalized as Jose Basterra (3’) found the back of the net. India kept constant pressure on Spain’s defenders. Akashdeep earned a PC soon but Harmanpreet Singh’s shot went wide.

With just seconds remaining in the end of the first quarter, Spain took lead as Borja Lacalle (15’) found the back of the net after receiving a pass from the Spain’s Captain Marc Miralles from the right flank.

In the beginning of the second quarter, India made an aggressive start in the opening minutes as they put pressure on Spain’s defence by constant attacks. India enjoyed greater possession of the ball but the Spain’s defence was tough in not allowing the Indian forwards to equalize. Going into the half-time, Spain led India by 2-1.

With India trying to find ways to bounce back, the third quarter was entertaining with both teams displaying quick-fire hockey and both stepping up the ante in attack. With India putting constant pressure on Spain defenders, India earned a PC on which they capitalized as Abhishek (35’) reacted quickly and fired the ball in back of the net to make the score 2-2. At the end of the third quarter, the score was tied at 2-2.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, India started mounted more pressure on Spain. With constant attacking moves, India earned a PC with six minutes remaining, but failed to convert as Amit Rohidas shot was blocked well by the Spain goalkeeper. Sreejesh made some superb saves in the last five minutes of the game as the Spain gave their all, but couldn’t find the back of the net, ending the regulation time in a 2-2 scoreline.

India will face The Netherlands in their fourth match on Wednesday, 21st February at 1930 hrs IST.

All matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 will be streamed on JioCinema, additionally, all India matches will be telecast on Sports18 – Khel.

By Hockey India

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