Hockey World Cup 2023: Hosts India trounce Spain 2-0
The Indian men's team made a resounding start to the ongoing Hockey World Cup 2023. The Harmanpreet Singh-led side beat Spain 2-0 at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela on Friday. India, who are seated in Pool D, are now placed second, behind England. The hosts will cross swords with 1986 runners-up England on January 15 (7:00 PM IST). Here's more.
India trounce Spain in their opening game
Amit Rohidas' sensational strike put India 1-0 up in the first quarter itself. The hosts then doubled the lead soon, with Hardik Singh getting a deflection off a Spanish defender. Indian captain and drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet could have added the third but missed out on a penalty post-half-time. Rohidas' heroics eventually earned him the Player of the Match award.
A look at the Pool D standings
England occupy the top spot with three points and a goal difference of +5. Interestingly, they beat Wales 5-0 to start the tournament with a bang. India trail them with a goal difference of +2. Spain and Wales occupy the third and fourth spots, respectively.
India are hosting the Hockey World Cup for fourth time
This is the fourth occasion of India hosting the tournament, after 1982 Mumbai, 2010 Delhi, and 2018 Odisha. It's the most number of times a nation has hosted the Hockey World Cup. Notably, India became the first nation to be hosting the tournament twice in a row.
India's performance at the Hockey World Cup
India last won the tournament in 1975, finishing second and third in 1973 and 1971, respectively Team India exited in the quarter-finals in the 2018 edition. As per TOI, it is the first instance since 1982 with India playing at a Hockey World Cup as a medalist from the last Olympics. India ended a 41-year-long wait by winning bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.