Rupinder's brace hands India 3-0 win over Spain in Olympic men's hockey
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 register its second win at the Tokyo Olympics here 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.
Spain drew 1-1 against Argentina before losing 3-4 to New Zealand.
Manpreet Singh's men played high pressure hockey from the word go and dominated the possession in initial 10 minutes even though they failed to create any real scoring opportunities.
Spain slowly and steadily got into the groove and secured their first penalty corner in the 12th minute but wasted the chance.
The Indians mounted number of attacks in the final few minutes of the game and the ploy bore fruits when Spain's defence was caught off guard by Amit Rohidas' pass and an unmarked Simranjeet just tapped the ball into the goal past Quico Cortes.
The goal rejuvenated India as they secured three back-to-back penalty corners in the final minute of the first quarter and from the third set piece Harmanpreet's flick found the body of a Spanish defender, which resulted in a penalty stroke.
Rupinder Pal Singh stepped up and made no mistake in doubling India's lead.
Spain's pressure tactics earned them three penalty corners in the third quarter -- the last one coming just seconds from the end following a referral -- but the Indian defence held firm to keep their lead intact.
The fragile Indian defence, known for succumbing in tough situations, somehow managed to soak up the pressure put up by the Spaniards.
But in the 51st minute India managed to find the net again when they earned a penalty corner, their fourth of the match, from a counter attack and this time Rupinder was bang on target with a powerful low flick to the right of Spanish goalkeeper Cortes.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)