The Indian hockey team wanted to finish their European tour on a high and coach Oltmans will be happy with the final result. After a poor performance in the first match against Spain, critics questioned Indian hockey team’s ability to compete against top teams. With the final win in the pocket, the Indian team has certainly silenced those voices.
The win in the second match against Spain gave India much needed confidence to fight back. In form forward Ramandeep Singh continued to display his excellent skills as he scored two spectacular goals that made all the difference between India and Spain on the field.
Tough battle in the first half
The game began in a similar fashion like the previous ones as both teams looked for the opening goal to create pressure. However, both goalkeepers stood steady to deny any opportunity. The first quarter ended with an intense tussle for the ball but lacked any major scoring threats. India managed to convert a penalty corner with the efforts of drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh in the 24th minute to gain the lead.
But the lead was short-lived as Spain scored a quick goal to bring the two sides back to level at 1-1 at the end of the second quarter.
Ramandeep Singh double seals victory for India
The third quarter was crucial and there was a barrage of attacks from both sides, eager to take the lead. Changing their tactics on the run, both teams tested each other’s defence to the fullest by attacking from all corners of the field. Spain received its first genuine opportunity in the third quarter through a penalty corner due to a reckless foul by the Indian defender. But the danger was averted as Indian keeper Sreejesh continued to display his impressive form. India again gained the lead for the second time in the match through Akashdeep Singh just before the end of the quarter.
Spain, in an attempt to avoid a series loss at home, added extra-man power to their attacking line. After a few attempts on goal, they finally managed to draw level at 2-2 through Xavier Lleonart.
The game was going down the wire. However, in a matter of minutes, Ramandeep Singh turned things in favour of the visitors, scoring a goal to take the lead to 3-2. Under a minute after the previous goal, Ramandeep Singh again struck and took the lead to 4-2, leaving Spain in shock.
So India signs off with 4 wins out of five. Hence India’s tour of Europe seems to be a grand success under new boss Roelant Oltmans.