The Indian men’s hockey team began its 5-Nation Tournament on a disappointing note, losing 0-1 to lower ranked Spain here on Friday. Alvaro Iglesias scored the only goal of the match in the 29th minute. The Indian team, which has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics after winning gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games, is ranked third in the world while Spain is eighth. FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023: India Need To Pull Up Their Socks Against Spain in Bronze-Medal Match.

Before Friday, India and Spain had played against each other twice this year and the result had been even. India beat Spain in a World Cup group match in January while the European side was victorious in a tournament at home in July. The first quarter of the match saw both the teams earn a penalty corner each but neither managed to find the back of the net.

Spain took the initiative in the second quarter, forcing a penalty corner save from Indian custodian Krishan Pathak. The pressure was telling as India received a green card and Spain immediately pounced on the opportunity. Alvaro Iglesias breached India’s defence and scored the goal that gave Spain the lead.

The third quarter witnessed both teams in an intense battle to score the next goal but they were unable to break their opponents’ tight defence.

India turned up the heat in the last quarter in the search of an equaliser, earning two penalty corners. However, they were unable to convert both the set-piece chances and the match ended in Spain’s favour. India Suffer Heartbreaking 1–4 Loss to Germany in FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023.

The Indian team will battle against reigning Olympic champions Belgium on Saturday. The five teams will play each other once and the side finishing on top of the points table after all the matches will be the winner of the tournament.

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