The Indian men’s hockey team continued their fine form on their European tour as they smashed five goals past a Spanish side to make it three wins on the bounce in the past week.
Drag-flick expert Harmanpreet Singh was the star of the show yet again for the Asian side, as he scored twice while SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh also got on the scoresheet as India ran out 5-1 winners in Antwerp, Belgium.
While the final score would suggest a resounding win, it didn’t start off that way as Spanish forward Alvaro Iglesias put them in front in the third minute with a neat finish.
However, the Indians restored parity almost immediately with 24-year-old Akashdeep scoring in the fifth minute of the game.
After equalising, the Indians dominated most portions of the first quarter and came very close to taking the lead from a penalty corner, but a smart save from Spanish goalkeeper Quico Cortes kept the scores level.
Come the second quarter, the Indians continued their aggressive intent and were rewarded for their enterprise as returning forward Sunil made a darting run from the right flank and stroked one past the Spanish ’keeper to help his side to a 2-1 advantage.
After taking the lead, India, the team ranked fifth, were high on confidence and began playing some brilliant, intricate hockey in the Spanish half, creating a flurry of opportunities. In the 35th minute, they finally managed to double the advantage, with Ramandeep getting into the act.
Things soon got worse for Spain, as Harmanpreet converted from a penalty corner with a perfectly timed shot.
By the final quarter, the Europeans were struggling to cope with the Indian attacks and found it hard to get out of their half.
Harmanpreet added another from a penalty corner in the 51st minute, to complete a comprehensive 5-1 win.