Tokyo Olympics: India beat Spain, stay in hockey hunt
Dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh scored a brace as the Indian men’s hockey overcame a demoralising defeat in the previous match to cruise past Spain 3-0 and inch closer to a quarter final berth at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
Drubbed 1-7 by Australia in their last match, India produced a spirited performance against world No.9 Spain and scored through Simranjeet Singh (14th minute) and Rupinder Pal Singh (15th and 51st) to record a comfortable win in their third Pool A match at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
India, ranked fourth in the world, had earlier defeated New Zealand 3-2 in their opening fixture. Spain, on the other hand, are yet to register a win in the competition.
The Indians will next play reigning Olympic champions Argentina on Thursday.
For any team it is always tough to recover from a morale-shattering loss within a day, but India looked more organised and sorted against Spain on Tuesday. But despite the win, chief coach Graham Reid said the team needs to work on a lot of grey areas, like conceding penalty corners, ahead of their remaining matches.
“Better result today, but a lot of things to work on from an improvement perspective. The fact that we gave too many corners, that’s always a concern when that happens. But the team did really well in terms of defending,” he said.
In other matches, Australia won their third straight match in the men’s hockey tournament, beating Argentina 5-2, while Germany powered past Britain 5-1.
Hosts Japan earned their first point of the tournament following a 2-2 draw against New Zealand.