|March 4th, 2010|
|15||Pool B||8:30pm||ESP - IND||5 - 2 (2 - 0)||Final|
The last game of the day between Spain and host India started in the usual boisterous atmosphere. The pundits have been harsh towards the Indian team after their severe loss to Australia, but the crowd in the stadium was as devoted as ever, screaming their hope each time an Indian player was moving forward.
In this fiery atmosphere, the players needed to pass on their initial nerves with some long and spectacular runs and a few attempts on goals that did not really threaten Francisco CORTES or Sreejesh Parattu RAVEENDRAN in goals. Xavi LLEONART earned a penalty-corner after stealing a ball in the circle from a careless defender, but it was well defended. Then Albert SALA temporarily silenced the crowd when his shot on the run from the top of the circle beat RAVEENDRAN to open the scoring, but cheering only redoubled soon after.
Spain survived a wild scramble in front of their goal, with the keeper on the ground and a flurry of sticks trying to reach the ball, and India were saved by the post and equally lucky at the other end. The crowd “ooooooohed” in unison when Francisco CORTES pulled two fantastic flying saves in the Spanish goal but was stunned when Spanish Captain Pol AMAT deflected in goal a cross from Alex FABREGAS in the dying seconds of the period, giving a precious two-goal cushion to his team going into half-time.
India pushed forward as soon as play resumed and Sandeep SINGH reduced the gap on a penalty-corner, sending up a deafening roar that immediately informed the whole city of Delhi of the goal. This triggered a flurry of goals in the span of a few minutes, first Pau QUEMADA and Roc OLIVA for Spain, then Gurwinder Singh CHANDI for India, pushing the score to 4-2!
The game became a furious battle raging from end to end, with Spain clearly on their heels but holding tight to maintain their lead. With time passing, the Indian forwards started to abuse of individual runs, spectacular and crowd pleasing but rarely efficient. India had a few more chances, including on penalty-corners, but Francisco CORTES was pulling a phenomenal performance and Pau QUEMADA closed the debate with his second penalty-corner of the match in the 67th minute.
Match facts (Spain v. India):
> Spain beat India 5-2 to collect their second win at the 2010 World Cup.
> Today’s 5 goals equalled Spain’s scoring record in World Cup matches. They also scored five times in 1973 (5-0 vs Belgium) and 2002 (5-1 vs Japan).
> Spain join Australia on 6 points from 3 matches. Only England (9 points) did better in Pool B.
> India and Pakistan are on three points from 3 matches.
> This match saw three goals being scored in three minutes time (41’, 42’, 43’). This marks the fastest set of three goals at the 2010 World Cup.
> The South Africa – England (4-6) match saw three goals being scored in four minutes time (50’, 51’, 53’).
> Albert Sala’s goal was the first for Spain in a WC match against India in 24 years.
> Pablo Amat netted once. He has now scored in all four World Cup editions since 1998. The only other player to have scored in ever WC since 1998 is Sohail Abbas (PAK).