India outplay Spain 4-2, win hockey series 2-1

Terrassa (Spain), Aug 13 (IANS) Forward Ramandeep Singh struck twice in the 50th minute as India defeated Spain 4-2 in the third and final match to clinch the hockey series 2-1 here on Thursday.

Ramandeep scored field goals while drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh (24th minute) and striker Akashdeep Singh (45th) also sounded the boards for India. Ricardo Santana (25th) and Xavier Lleonart (49th) scored for Spain.

The Indians played an aggressive game, troubling the Spanish defence with fast counter-attacks at regular intervals.

Chinglensana Singh could have put the visitors ahead in the second quarter when he found himself unmarked inside the Spanish penalty circle. The midfielder, however, fired his attempt wide.

India did not have to wait too long for the lead as Rupinder smashed home a penalty corner in the 24th minute.

Spain hit back in the very next minute as Santana dribbled past a couple of Indian defenders to score the equalizer.

The Indians continued to attack relentlessly despite Spanish attempts to slow the pace of the game. The Indian efforts bore fruit when Akashdeep showcased some excellent dribbling skills before beating the Spanish goalkeeper with a well-placed attempt.

In the fourth quarter, Spain put an extra player in their attacking line up which allowed them to put the Indian defence under pressure.

After several attempts went abegging, Lleonart finally breached the Indian defence to put the hosts back on level terms.

However, any hopes of a Spanish win was quickly extinguished by Ramandeep who utilised a couple of long balls from the midfield to score back-to-back field goals in the 50th minute.

Spain got a chance to come back in the dying moments, but Indian custodian P.R. Sreejesh came up with an excellent save to facilitate India’s 4-2 win.

With this, the Roelant Oltmans-coached India completed their European tour with series wins over Spain and France (2-0).

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