India vs Spain, Hockey World Cup 2023 Highlights: Majestic goals from Amit Rohidas and Hardik Singh helped India beat Spain 2-0 at Rourkela’s Birsa Munda Stadium, Friday, to kick-off their 2023 Hockey World Cup campaign on a winning note. With this win, the Indian team moved to the second spot in the points table of Group-D. England tops the list after an emphatic 5-0 win over Wales. In earlier Group-D matches, Argentina defeated South Africa 1-0 and Australia beat France 8-0 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

A positive start for Harmanpreet Singh-led Men’s hockey team, aiming to win it’s first World Cup title after 48 long years. 

In the first Quarter, Amit Rohidas made full use of the Penalty Quarter to convert it into a goal – India’s 200th in the tournament’s history – to give the Men in Blue a 1-0 lead. He got a brilliant pass from Harmanpreet Singh to finally place the ball beautifully into the nets in the 12th minute of the match. 

In the quarter 2, Spain made some desperate attempts to score the equalizer to make their way back into the match but India’s defence was too brilliant. A humiliating defensive lapse from Spain allowed India to double their lead to 2-0 just before half time. In the 26th minute, Hardik Singh scored a majestic goal to get second breakthrough for the hosts.

India got a penalty stroke in the third quarter (32nd minute of the match) but Indian captain Harmanpreet could not capitalize on the opportunity with Spanish goalkeeper Rafi Adrian making a brilliant save. India got two penalty corners in the 37th and 43rd minutes but failed to put the ball into the nets. The score remained 2-0 after first three quarters.

Spain had a great scoring opportunity in the begining of final and fourth quarter as India were down to 10 men for 10 minutes after Abhishek was given a yellow card by the referee for taking down his Spanish opponent. In the last 10 minutes of the match, India gave away two penalty corners (53rd and 57th minute), but the Spanish team failed to score and India maintained their 2-0 lead when the final whistle blew.

India playing XI: Sreejesh (GK), Harmanpreet (C), Surender, Manpreet, Hardik, Mandeep, Shamsher, Varun, Akashdeep, Rohidas, Sukhjeet

Spain playing XI: Rafi (GK), Miralles (C), Alonso, Gispert, Gonzalez, Iglesias, Bonastre, Cunill, Menini, Rodriguez, Localle

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