The Indian Hockey team started its 2023 WC campaign on a positive note as they beat Spain 2-0 in their opening encounter. India clashed against Spain at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela on Friday.
The first quarter of the match was quite tense as both teams didn’t give the other any opportunity to score. But in the 13th minute, the Indian vice-captain Amit Rohidas scored the opener.
The Spanish goalkeeper blocked Harmanpreet‘s goal, and Amit Rohidas quickly pounced on the opportunity as the ball went through Adrian Rafi and thudded into the goal post. This was India’s 200th goal in the World Cup.
In the second half, Spain increased their intensity and went on the offense. But India’s goalkeeper Bahadur Pathak stood like a rock as no ball could pass through the big man. Just like his name, it was a ‘Bahadur’ effort by the 25-year-old keeper.
Again in the dying moments of the second half, India doubled their lead in the 27th minute. Hardik Singh showed his agility and extreme pace as he edged past four defenders from the left side and fired the goal into the post. It was deflected by a Spanish stick but it would not matter for India.
India received 2 penalty corners later in the match. There were some nervy moments in the end as Abhishek got a yellow card. India was a man down for 10 minutes. But Spain still could not penetrate through the Indian defense. India eventually won the match 2-0, with Amit Rohidas rightly adjudged as the player of the match for his outstanding performance.
India is now second in the points table behind England, who blew away Wales 5-0 earlier in the day. The Indian team will lock horns against England in an all-important match on Sunday at 7 PM IST.