SPORT

Second India-Spain Test today

CHANDIGARH, NOV. 29. India looks to make amends when it takes on Spain in the second and final hockey Test here on Tuesday, its last competitive match before the Champions Trophy. Spain had won the first Test 3-2 on Sunday.

A win over the Olympic semifinalists will be a major boost to the home side ahead of the prestigious six-nation tournament starting in Lahore on December 4.

India had only itself to blame for Sunday's defeat as it squandered a two-goal advantage, a fact acknowledged by both captain Dilip Tirkey and coach Gerhard Rach.

``We lost due to our own mistakes. We failed to settle down, especially in the second half. Their attack was good but we also missed short corners in the second half, which cost us dear,'' Tirkey said.

Spain's captain Juan Escarre said his team wants to head for the Champions Trophy in a positive frame of mind. ``We are satisfied with our win. We are preparing for the Champions Trophy and the conditions in India and Pakistan are similar. The two matches will give us good practice,'' he said.

Incidentally, both the teams meet again on December 4 in the Champions Trophy and the match here gives them the perfect opportunity to assess each other's strengths and weaknesses.

The match also provides the Indian coach an opportunity to test the youngsters at his disposal before the elite event.

India has not changed the 18-member squad that lost 2-4 to Pakistan in the eight-match Test series a few months ago.

The Indian team will proceed to Lahore via Delhi on December 2 while Spain travels to the venue by crossing the Wagah border.

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