India beat Spain 4-1 in their opening match of the FIH Pro League after a commanding display from their penalty corner battery of Harmanpreet Singh (2) and Jugraj Singh, while veteran Lalit Kumar Upadhyay put the finishing touches with a lovely improvised finish late on. Spain scored thanks to a Marc Miralles penalty stroke but they were decidedly second-best throughout the match.
The match started slowly with both teams content to sit deep and soak up pressure in alternating intervals. That's till Hardik Singh had enough and decided to grab the game by the scruff of the neck -- a superb driving run yielded the game's first penalty corner in the seventh minute and Harmanpreet Singh stepped up to dragflick an absolute howitzer between the keeper's legs. India continued to dominate but the next goal came in the second quarter... Abhishek won a PC after a poor foul in the D, and Harmanpreet ahd three PC attempts illegally blocked in quick succession, the third of which led to a penalty stroke. Harmanpreet sent Luis Calzado the wrong way and passed it in.
Another clever piece of movement from Abhishek then led to another PC -- with Harmanpreet off the pitch, Jugraj switched to the first battery and he blootered one through Calzado's legs.
In the fourth minute of the third quarter, some superb dribbling from Rafael Vilallonga yielded a penalty stroke which Marc Miralles smashed into the roof. Spain curiously continued to sit back in a low block, and India held the lead comfortably till Lalit seized on an opportunity with a typically instinctive finish, backhanding a powerful drive on the half volley inside the D.
You can relive minute-by-minute updates from India vs Spain right here on our live blog.
(Please wait a few seconds for the blog to load. If it still doesn't, please click here)