Anupa Barla’s late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for India against hosts Spain in the second game of the five-match women’s hockey series, at the Consejo Superior de Deportes Hockey Stadium, in Madrid on Wednesday.
Outclassed 0-3 in the opening match, India did better in their second outing, particularly in the last two quarters after Spain dominated the first two.
Berta Bonastre put Spain ahead in the 14th minute while Barla restored parity for India in the 54th.
The opening quarter saw both the teams vie for possession in midfield and create a few chances. The hosts took lead when their 26-year-old forward Bonastre found herself in the clear and scored.
World No. 10 India started the second quarter well and had a couple of chances, but could not beat Spanish Goalkeeper Maria Ruiz. The Indian midfield made sure they won back possession quickly to put pressure on the hosts, but was unable to prevent the hosts from going into the breather with a 1-0 lead.
India got into rhythm in the third quarter, with the defence keeping out Spain's efforts. A strong showing saw them repeatedly knocking on the hosts' door and skipper Rani Rampal came close to finding the equalizer.
India's chief coach Sjoerd Marijne replaced goalkeeper Savita with Swati at the start of the fourth quarter.
The visitors continued playing some attacking hockey. The pressure on the hosts paid off and they earned the equaliser in the 54th minute when Barla's deflected shot went past goalkeeper Ruiz to the back of the net.
India could have scored a late winner, but Ruiz came to the world No. 11 team's rescue.
The teams will play the third of their five matches on Friday.