Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Records are meant to be broken. But breaking a new record in less than four hours is an unusual and herculean task by any standards.

Nevertheless, it happened in a fast-paced game like hockey as Spain proved it by battering minnows USA 17-0 in a lop-sided Pool C game of Hockey Men's Junior World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

In the first match of the day, Argentina had drubbed African minnows Egypt 14-0 to set a new record for the highest margin of victory in the tournament history. Spain went steps ahead to break the record within few hours.

Such was the dominance of the winning team that USA players were reduced to mere spectators on the ground. The winners made merry as they rode on brilliancy of Gerard Clapes, who scored four goals (6th, 14th, 29th and 30th) including a hat-trick, to torment the greenhorns. Eduard De Ignacio-Simo (26th, 31st and 37th) also joined the goal scoring spree with another hat-trick. 

Pepe Cunill (9th and 29th) Manuel Rodriguez (7th and 5th), Guillermo Fortuno (two goals in 60th minute) scored a brace each while Rafael Vilallonga (13th), Pol Carbe-Verdiell (46th), Pau Cunill (55th) and Jordi Bonastre (56th) struck once each.

USA players seem like schoolboys as they were hardly found penetrating through the D of the opposition. Spain were dominant from the word go and they maintained that intensity throughout the game.

USA captain and Indian origin player Jatin Sharma expressed dissatisfaction over the team’s performance after the match.

“We will seriously introspect our strategy and try our best to improve our show in the next game,” said Sharma.

“It’s a fantastic country and the stadium is pretty beautiful. Hopefully, we will learn important lessons about the game in this part of the hockey crazy world,” said Sharma.