The Indian men's hockey team showcased a brilliant performance as they thrashed eighth-ranked Spain 6-1 in the second match of their tour to Belgium in Antwerp on Saturday.
Defender Harmanpreet Singh notched up two goals in the space of four minutes while captain Manpreet Singh (24'), Nilakanta Sharma (39'), Mandeep Singh (56') and Rupinderpal Singh (59') all pulled back a goal each to guide the World No. 5 team to victory.
It was the Men in Blue who began the match aggressively as they started troubling the Spanish defence with a host of circle penetrations from the very beginning. Despite the possession, the first penalty corner was won by Spain towards the end of the first quarter but Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made a fine save to ensure the two teams head into the quarter break with a score reading 0-0.
After the goalless first quarter, captain Manpreet Singh finally break the deadlock by scoring a goal in the 24th minute before Harmanpreet doubled his side's lead just four minutes later with a perfectly executed drag flick.
Spain finally opened their account just before the half-time as the two teams went into break with a score reading 2-1 in favour of India.
In the 32nd minute, Harmanpreet completed his brace and restored India's two-goal lead wih a penalty corner before midfielder Nilakanta Sharma scored a superb goal in the 39th minute to hand India a 4-1 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Manpreet Singh-led team continued their momentum in the final quarter and did not allow Spain to stage a comeback. Subsequently, Mandeep Singh netted the fifth goal for India in the 56th minute of the game to take the score to 5-1. Just three minutes later, Rupinderpal Singh converted a penalty corner into a goal to wrap up the match.
India will now lock horns with Spain in the third match of the our of Belgium on Sunday.