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India go down to Spain
November 28, 2004 18:05 IST
India squandered a two-goal lead to go down 2-3 against Olympic semi-finalists Spain in the first of the two-match hockey Test series in Chandigarh on Sunday.
A rollicking start saw the hosts going up 2-0 by the 18th minute but the Spaniards bounced back to level the scores in the first half itself.
Eduard Arbos scored the winner just three minutes before the final whistle of the match that was played as part of preparations for next week's Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
Sandeep Singh's penalty corner conversion gave the team a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute before Hari Prasad swelled it further with a field goal four minutes later to put the visitors on the back foot.
But Spain got their act together, despite being under tremendous pressure, and levelled the score within a span of four minutes.
Santiago Freixa's double strike in the 26th and 30th minute took the teams to the half-time with a 2-2 scoreline.
India paid the price for failing to capitalise on some easy chances after the break as the visitors grew in confidence and kept on attacking the Indian defence with some well executed moves.
Immediately after resumption, India wasted as many as four easy chances. Poor finishing made their task all the more difficult and prevented them from taking the lead against the Spaniards who looked a lot more composed in the second half.
India's failure to put up good defence in the dying stages proved costly yet again as Arbos scored just minutes before close, much to the delight of his teammates.
Poor conversion of penalty corners continued to haunt the hosts who scored just once from the four penalty corners they earned during the match.
Spain also had trouble in converting from set-pieces, missing all the three penalty corners they got.
Captain Dilip Tirkey went off the ground for a few minutes during the match due to an ankle problem and his temporary absence compounded the problems for the Indians