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Hockey Pro League: India women fight back to beat Spain 2-1

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 26 (IANS) Forward Jyoti and substitute Neha scored a goal apiece as the Indian women’s team came back from a goal deficit to beat Spain 2-1 in the FIH Hockey Pro League here on Saturday.

The Indian women, who had started their Pro League campaign with 7-1 and 2-1 wins against China, went behind against the higher-ranked Spain in the 18th minute when Marta Segu scored in the 18th minute.

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India had done better than Spain in the Tokyo Olympics as they reached the semi-finals and eventually finished fourth. Spain lost to eventual bronze medallist Great Britain in a shoot-out in the quarter-finals.

Spain, who are ranked sixth, three spots ahead of India in the FIH Rankings, had lost to World and Olympic Champions the Netherlands 1-0 in the first match and held them 2-2 before losing 3-2 in a shoot-out in the second, started well but the hosts soon fought back into the match.

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Jyoti made it 1-1 for the hosts within two minutes as the Indians got into the rhythm. The teams were locked 1-1 at half-time.

The two teams made some good efforts in the third quarter but could not find a goal. The Indians finally sealed victory in the 52nd minute to seal full points against Spain.

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This was India’s third successive victory in Hockey Pro League and the hosts will be hoping to maintain the momentum in their second encounter with Spain on Sunday.

–IANS

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