Upbeat India look to continue winning momentum against Spain in Pro League

India's chief coach Graham Reid knows the potential of the Spanish players and said his team can't afford a drop in momentum in the entire 60 minutes of the match.

Published: 29th October 2022 05:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2022 05:49 PM   |  A+A-

Indian men's hockey team. (Photo | PTI)

Indian men's hockey team. (Photo | PTI)


BHUBANESWAR: An upbeat Indian men's hockey team will aim for a disciplined effort and avoid unnecessary cards when it takes on Spain in the FIH Pro League here on Sunday.

The Indians produced a great fight?-back in the opener against New Zealand on Friday, rallying from a 1-3 deficit to eke out a close 4-3 win at the Kalinga Stadium.

The hosts will be eager to carry forward the momentum.

Down 1-3, skipper Harmanpreet Singh scored in the 42nd minute, followed by forward Mandeep Singh equalised in the 52nd minute and found the net again in the 57th minute to hand India a morale-boosting win.

Defender Mandeep Mor was the other goal scorer for the hosts who scored in the 14th minute.

But it won't be easy against Spain as in the previous season, India lost 3-5 to the same opponents in the second match of the double-leg tie after registering a 5-4 victory in the opening game.

The Indians will have to be a little disciplined at the back and avoid conceding penalty corners and fouls inside the circle, resulting in cards -- the way Sumit received on Friday -- forcing the hosts to play the last seven minutes of the match with 10 men.

India's chief coach Graham Reid knows the potential of the Spanish players and said his team can't afford a drop in momentum in the entire 60 minutes of the match.

"Spain is a strong side and has the ability to bounce back from any situation. It's important for us to keep up the tempo in all quarters and not drop the momentum at any point in the match," Reid said.

"I like how we finished the game (against New Zealand) and the team's self-belief coming to the fore. It's never easy to bounce back from a situation that we were in against New Zealand but it shows the team's fighting spirit."

"But it's important we play all four quarters with that same intensity," he added.

For Spain, it will be back-to-back matches as they play New Zealand in their first Pro League game here on Saturday.

Spain's Argentine coach Max Caldas is aware of the threat India poses but said the visitors are motivated to do well.

"India is a very good side, they have done well in the recent past, including a medal at the Olympic Games. They display good skill and speed.

Having said that, we are a motivated side," Caldas said.

"We have prepared well and our focus will be on the processes we have in place and executing them well. Every match in the Pro League is important for us," he added.


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