Bhubaneswar: The Indian men`s hockey team defeated Spain 5-4 in a nerve-wracking FIH Pro League match at the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday.India men enjoyed a sensational comeback after they went 1-4 down to Spain with 15 minutes left of their match.

But somehow the hosts drew on every reserve of energy to score four goals, including a dramatic penalty stroke in the final five seconds to win the match 5-1 and move to second in the FIH Hockey Pro League.

India thought they had taken an early lead when Harmanpreet rifled home India`s first penalty corner attempt.

A review saw that goal overturned and it was actually Spain who took the lead in the 14th minute when Pau Cunill scored his first goal in the FIH Pro League.

A minute later Harmanpreet once again stepped up for a penalty corner after a clever move in the circle by Lalit earned India their second penalty corner. Once again Harmanpreet found a way past Mario Garin in the Spanish goal and there was no argument this time.

The second quarter saw Spain begin to find new levels of energy and innovation, personified by their captain Marc Miralles.It was Miralles who found his way onto the scoresheet, with a penalty corner and a penalty stroke in the 20th and 23rd minute. The two-goal buffer built the Spanish team`s levels of confidence.

The second half burst into life as Marc Miralles scored his hat trick with a beautifully taken reverse stick shot following a penalty corner rebound. At first, the goal was disallowed as it appeared to be outside the circle, but the decision was reversed and Spain took a 4-1 lead.

It was this action that galvanised India and suddenly, with the small group of spectators roaring them on, the home side were on the come-back trail. in the 41st minute Lakra Shilanand scored following a jinking run through the left side of the Red Sticks defence and just two minutes later Shamsher Singh rattled home a penalty corner after Lalit Upadhyay drew a foul with some clever movements in the circle.

With four minutes left, Spain gifted India a penalty corner with a slip at the top of the circle and Kumar Vuran – on his 100th appearance for the senior team – was able to draw his team level with a fantastic turn and shot.There was one more twist to this tale as India won a penalty stroke with five seconds left on the clock. Harmanpreet made no mistake and, as Spain shook their heads in disbelief.Earlier in the day, India women also came from behind to overcome an energetic Spanish team by 2-1.


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