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Indian Women Continue Winning Run In FIH Pro League, Beat Spain 2-1
The Indian women's hockey team continued its unbeaten run at the FIH Pro League by registering a hard-fought 2-1 win over Spain at the Kalinga Stadium.
Bhubaneswar: The Indian women’s hockey team continued its unbeaten run at the FIH Pro League by registering a hard-fought 2-1 win over Spain at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday. World No. 6 Spain took the lead in the 18th minute through a field goal from Marta Segu.
But India, ranked ninth in the world, responded immediately through a field strike from Jyoti before Neha Goyal stunned the Spaniards in the 52nd minute with another field goal. The Indians were slow to start as Spain dominated the proceedings early on. Spain secured their first penalty corner in the fourth minute which was well defended by the Indians.
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The Indians managed to breach the Spanish defence on a few occasions in the first quarter but failed to yield any result. Three minutes into the second quarter, Spain stunned the Indians when Segu scored through a counter-attack after sendind India captain Savita on the wrong foot from a one-on-one situation.
But Spain’s joy was short-lived as India struck back within two minutes. Jyoti made a solo run from a counter-attack and with the help of some some artistic build-up, beat the Spanish defence to score her first international goal. Five minutes later, Spain secured another penalty corner but failed to get past an agile Savita as the scores were locked at 1-1 at half time.
The Indians came out with more purpose after the change of ends and put pressure on the Spanish defence with relentless raids but failed to covert those into goals. The fourth and final quarter saw Spain putting pressure on the Indian defence with continuous attacks but the hosts’ defence stood tall to thwart the threats.
Eight minutes from the final hooter, Neha found herself at the right place at the right time inside the circle to score after Vandana Kataraiya’s initial try was saved by the Spanish goalkeeper. A stunned Spain attacked in numbers but a resolute Indian defence held firm to register their third win in the league.
India had defeated China 7-1 and 2-1 in their opening two matches in Muscat, Oman earlier this month. The Indian women will play Spain again in the second match of the double-leg tie here on Sunday.
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