FIH Pro League: Krishan Bahadur Pathak’s genius guides India to 3-1 shoot-out win over Spain

Krishna Bahadur Pathak arrived under the bar on this occasion">India They beat Spain 3-1 in a shoot-out after both teams drew 2-2 at regulation time in their FIH Pro League match here on Sunday.

Harmanpreet (12th, 32nd) scored for India from a penalty corner while skipper Mark Miralles (43rd) and Pere Amat (55th) scored for Spain in regulation time.

India had lost 2-3 against Spain in the first match of the two-leg tie.

Spain got off to a great start and got a penalty corner in the first four minutes of the match, but could not make the most of the opportunity.

India got the job done and secured their first penalty corner in the 10th minute, but Jugraj Singh’s blow went inches wide of the goal.

But it took India two minutes to advance when skipper Harmanpreet found it in the back of the Spanish net from a penalty corner earned by Shamsher Singh.

Spain got off to an aggressive start in the second quarter but failed to break Manpreet Singh, who blocked a good shot.

In the 25th minute, Manpreet conceded a penalty corner and received the green card for a careless challenge inside his own circle, but first on-hander Rabichandra Singh worked for the home team, stalling the effort with his fearless run.

A flurry of opportunities ensued for India but they failed to breach Spain’s defense as the hosts went halfway with the slim advantage of a goal.

The Indians started off aggressively and doubled their lead two minutes after the change of the end, again through Harmanpreet after Hardik Singh earned a penalty corner.

Harmanpreet failed to collect the ball on the first try, but Rajkumar did, and managed to deliver it to his captain, who made no mistake on his second try.

Pathak, India’s second goalkeeper, made a brilliant save in the third quarter after a change of ends.

But the Indians were guilty of committing several unnecessary fouls, which resulted in cards for the hosts.

The Indian defense finally came under pressure when Mark Miralles scored to the left of Pathak to close the gap.

The goal seemed to have inspired Spain as they continued their attacking game and secured two more penalty corners at the start of the final quarter, but Pathak kept his opponents away.

Five minutes after the final hooter, the Indian defense broke down again when Pere Amat scored after the ball went past a deflection from Jugraj’s leg.

Jugraj had a tough evening against the Spanish forward line, securing another penalty corner in the 59th minute.

Spain put constant pressure on the Indian defense in the final minutes of the match, resulting in back-to-back penalty corners, but failed to use both as the match went into a shoot-out.

Harmanpreet, Rajkumar Pal and Abhishek scored for India in the shoot-out, while Pathak made excellent saves to deny bonus points to Joaquin Menini, Rafael Villalonga and Miralles.

Only Gerard Clapps found the net for Spain from a face-off.

India are at the top of the Pro League standings with eight points from four matches.

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