Hockey World Cup 2023: India starts with a win, defeats Spain 2-0 after 21 years in the World Cup
Hockey World Cup 2023: FIH Hockey World Cup 2023 started on Friday. The Indian hockey team got off to a flying start with a 2-0 win over Spain in their opening Pool D match of the tournament at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium. India has created history by defeating Spain in the World Cup after 21 years in a thrilling match.
FIH Hockey World Cup 2023 started in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela on Friday. With this, the Indian hockey team got off to a flying start with a 2-0 win over Spain in their opening Pool D match of the tournament at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium here. India has created history by defeating Spain in the World Cup after 21 years in a thrilling match. Amit Rohidas scored the first goal for India in the 13th minute of the first quarter. While the second goal was scored by Hardik Singh in the 27th minute. With this win, India moved to second place in the Pool D table behind England, who had thrashed Wales 5–0 in the second pool match.
Both India and Spain started the match on equal footing and the first 10 minutes of the game ended like this. The teams continued to dominate in both phases of the match. However, in the last few minutes of the first quarter, India regained control and opened the scoring with a goal. After skipper Harmanpreet Singh's shot was blocked by the Spanish defence, Amit Rohidas brilliantly curled the goalkeeper into the net to propel India to its first goal of the Hockey World Cup 2023. It was also India's 200th goal in the tournament.
Spain increased their attacking intent to try and restore the equalizer, but India's goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak made some brilliant saves to preserve India's lead. India also created their chances and got the second goal from the counterattack. Hardik Singh made a quick break and showed some amazing skill to get past four defenders to put India 2-0 up at the break of halftime.
Shortly after the restart, Akashdeep Singh won India a penalty stroke but Harmanpreet's shot missed. India came close to scoring the third on several occasions in the third quarter, including two Harmanpreet PCs, but the score remained 2–0 going into the final quarter. India's next match will be against England on Sunday.