India, Spain share six goals in vibrant First Test
The vastly experienced Spanish goalkeeper Francisco Cortes made at least five brilliant saves in the final 10 minutes when India`s improved fitness came into play as the visiting side laid siege on the rival circle. Cortes also saved penalty corner drag-flicks from VR Raghunath and Sandeep Singh to ensure that his team shared honours with India.
Quickly adapting to a blue turf that had perfect bounce, forward Tushar Khandker put India in the lead in the 11th minute by deflecting a cross from SV Sunil. But centre-forward Eduardo Tubau restored parity by capitalising on a pass from midfielder David Alegre in the 24th minute. Spain took the lead seven minutes later when Sergi Enrique beat India skipper and goalkeeper Bharat Chetri with a penalty stroke that was awarded because the ball had struck SK Uthappa`s foot during a penalty corner exercise.
India was in the arrears for just two minutes as Gurwinder Singh Chandi`s reverse flick off a rebound from Cortes` pads found the mark. Even though India made a number of circle penetrations, it was Spain that took the lead again in the 59th minute through a field goal by Tubau that capped some good work by Santi Frexia on a counter-attack. Three minutes later, Uthappa scored a field goal to help India draw abreast of the home team that enjoyed the support of a goodly crowd. India and Spain will play the second Test tomorrow evening.