Indian women’s hockey team put up a spirited fightback yet lost to Spain 2-3 in its opening match against hosts Spain on Saturday.
India attacked in the first quarter and earned a penalty corner in the eighth minute but could not convert the shot. But India’s forward line worked together as Vandana created a splendid opportunity for compatriot Udita to score in the 12th minute. Her reverse pass was picked up well by Udita who made no mistake in sending it past the Spanish goalkeeper Maria Ruiz to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second quarter, hosts Spain stepped up their game after the initial setback to score an equaliser in the 23rd minute through Maria Tost. While the second half saw both teams defend well to contain each other from taking a lead, the third quarter completely belonged to Spain as they struck two goals in the 39th and 40th minute through Lola Reira and Begona Garcia respectively.
The fourth quarter remained tense for India as they fought back to make amends to their defensive lapses in the previous quarter. A tactical approach to their attack saw them win a crucial PC which was brilliantly converted by drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur in the 48th minute.
The following minutes witnessed an evenly fought battle by both teams but Spain upped their defence to deny India an equaliser.