India managed to win their first point in the 2014 Hockey World Cup after securing a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Pool A rivals Spain at the Kyocera Stadium, Hague.
Although both sides were able to create some chances in the first period of play, none were converted. The Indian attackers were a constant threat to the Spanish defence as they managed to restrict their opponents deep in their own circle.
Finally India were handed a very good opportunity in the form of a penalty stroke when forward Mandeep Singh was fouled by defender Sergi Enrique at the 28th minute. Vice-captain Rupinder Pal Singh stepped up and easily converted the penalty stroke, giving India the lead.
However, India's celebrations were short lived as Spain equalised in the 34th minute through Roc Oliva. Spain captain Santi Freixa found Oliva near the circle and the 24-year-old made no mistake as he smashed the ball into the net.
In the second-half, both goalkeepers PR Sreejesh and Quico Cortes were forced to make regular saves by the attackers. While Sreejesh managed to make two penalty corner saves, Cortes made a sensational diving stick save to deny Rupinder.
Although Spain and India both came close to taking the full points, with Salvador Piera hitting the side netting and Dharamvir Singh smashing a shot into the legs of Cortes, finally the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
India chief coach Terry Walsh said he was pleased with his side's performance despite admitting he would have been more happy with a win.
"The team showed a great temperament and attacked Spain well in the match. The strategy seems to be working for India and I think it was a good match but would have been happy if we would have finished it with a win," said Walsh.
India captain Sardar Singh also feels that his team played very well and will be motivated after getting their first point in the tournament.
"The team played a good game and I think it was a great performance. We played well in the first half and attacked really well against Spain. Even in the second half the team played well. Overall it's really good to have 1 point on the points table and will be a great motivator for the entire team. We will take up the remaining match game by game and am hopeful that we will finish well," said Sardar.
Meanwhile, in other Pool A matches, reigning World Cup champions Australia beat Belgium 3-1, while England beat Malaysia 2-0.
Catch the highlights of the match between India and Spain HERE