Rio Olympics 2016: India lose their final fixture against Spain in Madrid
On Friday, India and Spain played out a closely contested practice game in Madrid at the end of which the home side emerged victors with a narrow 3-2 result. With this, it’s a wrap on Hockey India’s preparatory campaign ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Things began on the slower side with neither team doing enough to penetrate the opposition’s final third which kept it all square at the end of the first quarter. As the players took the field for the second set of fifteen minutes, the tempo had been visibly raised by the home team which yielded fruit in the 20th minute when Josep Romeu broke the deadlock from a penalty corner.
Reluctant to trail the Spaniards for longer stretches, the Men in Blue darted forward in numbers and started creating more chances. halftime, Spain held the slender one-goal lead but the Indians had found some shape which would prove crucial in the ensuing minutes.
With his side holding better possession in the centre in the second half, midfielder Manpreet Singh scored a terrific equaliser in the 38th minute. Tied 1-1 for a while, Spain managed a penalty corner in the 43rd minute which was driven home by Pau Quemada to reclaim their advantage.
The fourth and final quarter was thoroughly eventful but unfortunately for India, it was the Spanish side once again who found the net in the 53rd minute from open play via Salvador Piera’s stick. Eager to make amends, Indian forward Ramandeep Singh did get his name onto the scoresheets with his 57th-minute strike but it could only prove to be a consolation since another equaliser was not to be found as the result went in favour of the hosts.