New Delhi,28July: Riding on Navneet Kaur's brace India held hosts Spain to a 2-2 draw to share the points in its second match of the three-nation Women's hockey tournament in Terrassa, Barcelona.
Spain took the lead twice through Xantal Gine (13') and Vidosa Laia (26') but Navneet Kaur (14’ and 28’) drew level for India
This was the India's second successive draw at the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation International Tournament having been involved with world No. 4 England in a 1-1 stalemate
India is second in the standings with two points from as many matches. England are top with four while Spain is third with a solitary point. The team with the most points after
playing each other twice wins the tournament.
World no 8, India , started the match on a tentative note with Spain using their home advantage to the fullest to keep the visitors defence under pressure.
A long pass from a Spanish player allowed Marta Segu to break nside the circle and go one-on-one against Savita. But the goalkeeper stood tall to avert the danger. Late in the first quarter, the hosts launched a counter-attack and Xantal Gine converted the chance to give her side the lead (1-0).However, the lead lasted barely a minute as Navneet Kaur managed to intercept a long pass inside the circle and scored the equalizer (1-1) .
With the scores level, teams began jousting to gain the upper hand. Deepika broke through Spain's defence and managed to get a shot away. The ball, though, flew over the net.
With just a few minutes left in the quarter, Spain made the most of a penalty corner as Laia Vidosa bundled the ball in following a save from the goalkeeper Savita (2-1).
But Navneet Kaur, once again, equalised almost instantly. She dribbled past the Spanish defence to score and ensured her side went into half-time level at 2-2.
India went on the attack right from the word go in the second half but Spain goalkeeper Clara Perez and her defence stood firm to deny the visitors a lead.
With Neha Goyal dominating midfield, India maintained possession and kept pushing inside Spain's half but Perez kept stopping the shots on target and managed to hold off India.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, India upped the ante. Sangita Kumari received a pass inside the circle but the Spain goalkeeper managed to stop her in her tracks. Late in the final quarter, Spain earned a penalty corner, putting pressure on the Indian defence. But the Indian goalkeeper managed to deflect the ball away and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
India will play England next in the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation International Tournament on Saturday.