India hockey captain Sardar Singh livid at himself
The Hague: In what was a slightly sloppy game between two teams struggling to gain points, India, the less dysfunctional did enough, including clearing the ball in the last few seconds to secure a draw against Spain 1-1 and gain their first point in three matches here at the World Cup yesterday.
India skipper Sardar Singh. File Pic/Getty Images
India are out of the reckoning for a semi-final berth as they have only two more matches to go against Malaysia and reigning world champions Australia.
In fact, Spain with four seconds asked for a video referral as they argued that the ball had hit Manpreet Singh on the foot in the striking circle. Indian hearts were beating like a thousand drums and when the big screen at the ground showed no contact, relief was visible on the players' faces.
India earn first point
Both teams had the upper hand for specific moments in the match. Spain would feel they should have got through as they had four penalty corners to India's three.
India had more field goal-scoring opportunities in the last 15 minutes of the match when the midfield pushed, trying to gain momentum. In the end, both teams, however, would have been relieved to gain at least a point.
Sardar Singh, the Indian captain, castigated himself, saying, "We wanted a win badly after losing the first two games. But the Spain goal came out of an error which I committed and then the error of mine in the penalty corner."
India took the lead off a penalty stroke which was converted by Rupinder Pal Singh.
However, a passing error by Sardar gave the momentum to Spain who converted despite the first four shots being saved by Sreejesh.
It was on the fifth shot that Sreejesh couldn't get his pads to the ball in time as Roc Oliva's shot went in to equalize the scores at 1-1.
In the dying minutes, India could have closed out the match but Dharamvir, with the best opportunity of the match couldn't place the ball past the Spanish goalkeeper.