The Indian women’s hockey team fumbled a good opportunity to take control of the proceedings after leading 2-0 at half-time to draw the match 2-2 against Spain in the deciding encounter against the host nation in Murcia on Thursday.
The teams finished the series 1-1. While India won the third match 5-2, Spain had registered a narrow 3-2 win in the opening match with the second match ending in a 2-2 draw.
The visitors got off to a fast start as they caught the Spanish defence on the wrong foot. An infringement by a Spanish defender saw India being awarded a penalty stroke only minutes into the first quarter.
Though India missed scoring from this opportunity, Deep Grace Ekka made up for the missed chance with a well-converted penalty corner awarded in the 8th minute. India’s 1-0 lead doubled in the second quarter when their forward line worked in tandem to penetrate into the striking circle with striker Navneet Kaur scoring a field goal off Rani Rampal’s assist in the 26th minute.
At the second hooter, India had registered a comfortable 2-0 lead. After the 10-minute halftime break, hosts Spain made a resolute comeback as they vied to overcome the initial setback.
The Indian defence was put to the test when Lucia Jimenez scored a field goal in the 35th minute. Pressure to defend their 2-1 lead saw India give away a penalty corner in the 39th minute. Clara Ycart did not miss her attempt to score as Spain levelled the score to 2-2.
The final quarter saw India up their ante in attack but a strong Spanish defence denied any opportunities inside the circle resulting in a draw.