New day, same story
Antwerp (Belgium), Sept 29
Drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh yet again scored a brace as the Indian men’s hockey team thrashed Spain 5-1 for its third consecutive win on the tour of Belgium here today. Harmanpreet (41st, 51st minutes) and Ramandeep Singh (35th) scored in the second half after Akashdeep Singh (5th) and SV Sunil (20th) had put India ahead before half-time.
It was not a great start for India as they went a goal down in the third minute through Spain’s opening attack. Iglesias Alvaro scored to put pressure on the Indians. However, high on confidence from their two wins in the opening two matches, India responded quickly with an equaliser in the fifth minute as Akashdeep scored a field goal.
Sunil marked his return to the team with a wonderful strike in the second quarter to give India a 2-1 lead. The forward ran inside from the right flank and struck the ball past Spanish goalkeeper Quico Cortes. India started the third quarter with a flurry of good opportunities, one of which was converted by forward Ramandeep. Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner to make it 4-1. The last quarter saw a similar tale as India produced some outstanding team moves with their pressing and quick passing. They scored their fifth goal when Harmanpreet stepped up yet again to convert a penalty corner.
India will face world No. 2 Belgium on Tuesday. India had beaten the hosts 2-0 on Thursday before beating Spain 6-1 yesterday.