Murcia (Spain), Jan 31 (IANS) The Indian women's hockey team fumbled at a good opportunity to take control of the proceedings after leading 2-0 at half-time before drawing 2-2 against Spain in the deciding fourth encounter here on Thursday.
Both teams levelled the series 1-1. While India won the third match 5-2, Spain had registered a narrow 3-2 win in the opening match with the second match ending in a 2-2 draw.
India got off to a rollicking start as they caught the Spanish defence on the wrong foot. An infringement by a Spanish defender saw India being awarded a penalty stroke only minutes into the first quarter.
Though India missed scoring from this opportunity, Deep Grace Ekka made up for the missed chance with a well converted penalty corner awarded in the 8th minute.
India's 1-0 lead doubled in the second quarter when their forward line worked in tandem to penetrate into the striking circle with striker Navneet Kaur scoring a beautiful field goal off Rani's assist in the 26th minute. At the second hooter, India had registered a comfortable 2-0 lead.
After the 10-minute halftime break, hosts Spain made a resolute comeback as they vied to overcome the initial setback. The Indian defence was put to the test when Lucia Jimenez scored a field goal in the 35th minute.
Pressure to defend their 2-1 lead saw India give away a penalty corner in the 39th minute. Clara Ycart was impeccable in her attempt to score as Spain levelled the score at 2-2.
The final quarter saw India up their ante in attack but a strong Spanish defence denied any opportunities inside the circle, resulting in a draw.