Madrid: India’s Junior Men’s Hockey team lost to Spain 3-1 in their group stage game at the 8-Nations U-21 Invitational today.
India went into the game wary of the minor errors that had denied them victory in their previous group encounters. The hosts on the other hand were brimming with confidence thanks in part to two successive victories and romped up the attack. India defended hard, though, and soon the game became an assertion of physical ability. The action was dominated by two cards, Prabhjot Singh and Guillermo Fortuno’s green card’s giving both teams a chance with an extra man on the pitch. Neither could capitalise though, as they went into the break goalless.
India dominated possession in the second quarter, but Spain’s dogged defence cut down on any clearcut goal-scoring opportunities. The teams went into halftime locked in a goalless stalemate.
In a lively third quarter, both teams came out attacking from the word go. It was India who struck first, Pratap Lakra converting a PC in the first minute of the third quarter. Spain hit back soon though, in a four-minute period, where they hit back with three quick goals. Ignacio Cobos struck their first, in the 35th minute with a PC conversion. Cesar Cusier (37′) and Gonzalo Quijano (39′) scored two in quick succession to give them a 3-1 lead.
To compound to India’s troubles, Mandeep Mor picked up a yellow card in the 40th minute, leaving them a man down for the final part of the quarter. The team defended strongly though, to ensure they didn’t concede more. India went into the final break down 3-1.
In the final quarter, despite India’s best efforts, Spain defended resolutely to ensure they took the 3-1 victory.
India play Austria in a 5-8 classification encounter on June 15, 2019 at 1500hrs.