Harmanpreet stars as India hammer Spain 5-1 for third consecutive win

Harmanpreet Singh, SV Sunil, Hockey, Hockey India
SV Sunil also marked his return to the team with a wonderful strike in the second quarter to give India a 2-1 lead (PTI)

Dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh yet again scored a brace as Indian men’s hockey team thrashed Spain 5-1 for their third consecutive win, here on Sunday (September 29).

Harmanpreet (41, 51) and Ramandeep Singh (35) scored in the second half after Akashdeep Singh (5) and SV Sunil (20) had put India ahead at the half-time.

It was not a great start for the Indian team though, as they went a goal down in the third minute through Spain’s opening attack. Iglesias Alvaro scored the opening goal of the match to put the pressure on the Indians.

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However, high on confidence from their two wins in the opening two matches, India responded with a quick equalizer in the fifth minute as Akashdeep Singh scored a field goal to make it 1-1.

The Indians looked comfortable in possession during the latter stages of the first quarter and forced the Spanish goalkeeper into making a save off a Penalty Corner.

SV Sunil also marked his return to the team with a wonderful strike in the second quarter to give India a 2-1 lead. In the 20th minute the forward ran inside from the right flank, and struck the ball past Quico Cortes.

Spain tried to make a comeback into the match, but could not create enough opportunities before the half-time break as India maintained their 2-1 advantage.

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The Indian team started the third quarter with a flurry of good opportunities inside the Spanish circle, and it was in the 35th that they benefited from it as forward Ramandeep Singh scored India’s third goal of the afternoon. Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner to make it 4-1 in India’s favour.

The last quarter saw a similar tale as India produced some outstanding team moves with their pressing and quick passing. They scored their fifth goal of the match when Harmanpreet step up yet again to convert another penalty corner.

India will face world number two Belgium on Tuesday. They had beaten the hosts 2-0 on Thursday in their tour-opening game and then hammered Spain 6-1 on Saturday.