The Indian women’s hockey team suffered a 1-4 defeat against hosts Spain in the fourth game to trail 1-2 in the five-match series.
Lola Riera (10′, 34′) continued her fine form with a double strike while the other goals came from Lucia Jimenez (19′) and Carmen Cano (37′). India’s only goal of the match was scored by Udita in the 22nd minute.
While Spain beat India 3-0 in the opener, the second game between the two sides finished with a 1-1 draw. The visitors bounced back with a 3-2 win in the third match before being outplayed in the fourth game played yesterday.
Spain won two penalty corners within the first five minutes to put pressure on the away team.
But the Indian team was up to the task and kept out the two tries from the world no 11 side.
Spain looked in prime form during the opening 20 minutes of the match, which saw them score twice.
After the early setback, it was India’s turn to put pressure on the hosts. The visitors focused on their defending and built some momentum, causing the Spanish side to play deep.
The pressure paid off for the visitors in the 22nd minute when Udita found the back of the net after linking up with her teammates to score a field-goal. The visitors started to play expansive hockey in the closing few minutes of the second quarter and could have equalised before the half-time break, but young striker Lalremsiami dragged her shot wide of the post.
The third quarter was a crucial one in context of the match, and Spain’s attackers made sure that they stamped their authority by increasing their lead. The hosts scored their third goal on the back of a penalty corner in the 33rd minute when the drag-flick was adjudged to be blocked by the last Indian defender.
The umpire awarded Spain with a penalty stroke which was well converted by Riera in the 34th minute.
Another attack by the Spanish three minutes later saw Carmen Cano deflect a cross from outside the striking circle into the back of the net, making the score 4-1 in favour of the home side. The visitors tried to pull a goal in the very next minute, but Lalremsiami saw her shot being saved by Spanish goalkeeper Melanie Garcia.
Spain won back-to-back penalty corners at the start of the fourth quarter, but the first rusher blocked the first try while India’s goalkeeper Swati made a save on the hosts’ second attempt.
India tried to build some attacks in the final quarter but Spain made sure that they were not successful.
The two teams will play their fifth and final match on Monday.