Battling Indians hold Spain 1-1

Battling Indians hold Spain 1-1

Easy win for Australia, England

Battling Indians hold Spain 1-1

India finally managed to earn their first points in the World Cup Hockey as they held Spain to a 1-1 draw as custodian PR Sreejesh effected at least four brilliant saves.

The Indian goalkeeper fought gallantly to effect numerous saves as Spain’s strikers often broke past the jittery Indian defence only to find Sreejesh standing like a rock.

India went into the lead, for the first time in this World Cup, courtesy a penalty stroke conversion by Rupinder Pal Singh in the 28th minute.

Roc Olivia equalized for Spain with a low flick just one minute before half-time after Sreejesh had blocked two earlier shots at the goal. Spain forced the first penalty corner in the seventh minute, but Sergi Enrique’s drag flick was stopped by Sreejesh.

At the other end, Rupinder Pal’s long diagonal ball found striker Lalit Upadhyay, but his deflection was way off the target. The Indian goal came under threat in the 17thminute when Salvador Piera was in a one-on-one position with goalkeeper Sreejesh, who padded away the shot.

Sreejesh was again in action to block the second Spanish penalty corner conceded by erratic Indian defence. India went into the lead on a penalty stroke which was awarded when Dharamvir Singh’s diagonal assist was picked up by Mandeep Singh on top of the circle.

He was tripped from behind by Spanish defender Ramon Alegre as he created space for a shy at the goal. A lapse in their own territory by the Indians allowed Spain to get the equaliser.

Defender VR Raghunath lost the ball allowed the Spaniards to build an attack with the Indian half-line out of their positions. Couple of tries by the Spanish strikers were brilliantly parried by Sreejesh before Olivia slotted the ball into the goal. 

India created two good chances on raids from the right flank, but could not capitalise on the openings. 

India’s last chance came in the 67th minute when they forced their last of their three penalty corner, which was taken by Raghunath, but the defenders held their ground.

Other results: Men: England: 2 (Mark Gleghorne 4th, Ashley Jackson 67th) bt Malaysia: 0Australia: 3 ( Chris Ciriello 7th, Jacob Whetton 9th, Eddie Ockenden 36th) bt Belgium: 1 (Sebastian Dockier 46th).

Women: Australia: 3 (Anna Flanagan 16th, Jodie Kenny 38th, 54th) bt Belgium: 2 (Stephanle De Groof 35th, Jill Boon 42nd).

 Korea: 1 (Jonguen Kim 32nd, ) drew with Japan: 1 (Shihori Oikawa 37th).