Indian hockey team stunned by Spain

Sant Cugat del Valles (Spain), Aug 11 (IANS) Following their 2-0 series victory over France last week, the Indian hockey team suffered a shocking 1-4 defeat at the hands of Spain in the first of the three-match series here.

Forward S.V. Sunil scored the lone goal for the visitors on Monday.

The home side stunned India in the ninth minute when they opened their account with a field goal. India reacted quickly and attacked fiercely. In only the next minute, defender V.R. Raghunath gave a long pass to Sunil, who received the pass in the circle. He dribbled past a defender and hit the ball hard to score the first goal.

India players attacked in the second quarter but failed to complete their passes. On the other hand, Spain faced a stiff Indian defence line which thwarted all their attacks and the teams went back to the dressing rooms 1-1 at halftime.

It was Spain in the third quarter who managed a penalty corner in the 31st minute. Pau Quemada converted it perfectly to hand Spain a 2-1 lead. India counter-attacked and kept the ball in the Spanish half but could not convert their opportunities.

The final quarter totally belonged to Spain as they completely outplayed the visitors. They earned another penalty corner but it was saved by India goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh.

In the 53rd minute, Spain earned one more penalty corner and this time Jordi Carrera converted it effectively for their third goal. The hosts made a surprise attack from the right flank and Roc Oliva scored the fourth goal for Spain (56th minute) to win the game 4-1.

The second match between the two sides will be played here on Wednesday.

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