Anupa Barla’s last gasp goal helps India salvage a 1-1 draw against Spain

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Anupa Barla’s last gasp goal helps India salvage a 1-1 draw against Spain

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SportsCafe Desk


The Indian women’s hockey team played out a 1-1 draw against the home team in Madrid as Anupa Barla pulled off a late equalizer to cancel Berta Bonastre’s early goal. India, who have now lost one and drawn one game from two matches, will try and push for a win the next three games.

The Indian women’s hockey team began their tour of Spain with a disappointing loss against a strong Spanish side by a scoreline of 3-0. Berta Benastre scored the opener in that game before Lola Riviera bagged a brace to punish the Indians for some sloppy finishing in the final third. In the second match of the five-game series, India were again pegged back early into the game courtesy of Benastre who scored in her second consecutive match against the Indians and put the hosts’ ahead. But Anupa Barla scored a last-gasp equalizer to end the match at 1-1 and secure a draw for the visitors.

It was a match of two halves as hosts Spain dominated the game in the first two quarters but the Indian team, led by skipper Rani Rampal, made a comeback in the last quarter. The opening quarter saw both teams battle it out in the midfield before the hosts managed to take the lead in the 14th minute as 26-year-old striker Bonastre scored in her second consecutive match. India, ranked number 10 in world rankings, started the second quarter with an aggressive approach, but could not manage to get past Spanish Goalkeeper Maria Ruiz.

Rani came close to finding the equalizer in the third quarter but to her disappointment,  the ball went just wide of goal. However, the visitors kept pushing and earned an equalizer in the 54th minute when Anupa Barla’s deflected shot went past Ruiz into the back of the net.

The two teams will play the third match of the series on Friday at the Consejo Superior de Deportes Hockey Stadium in Madrid.

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