Thursday, February 22, 2024

Hockey Pro League: Spain on the up, Gonzalo Peillat returns to Argentina

Spain served early intent ahead of January’s World Cup after going top of the FIH Pro League after the first weekend of action in Season 4.

Max Caldas’ side summoned two 3-2 victories, first over New Zealand before beating India in Bhubaneswar, one of the two venues at the 2023 World Cup. India, along with England and Wales, are in Spain’s World Cup group.

Eduard De Ignacio and captain Marc Miralles handed Spain the initiative before Harmanpreet Singh and Abhishek levelled for the hosts. However, a 57th minute winner from Marc Reyne handed Spain the points.

Player of the match, Jordi Bonastre, said: “It was a tough game today but our team played together and we delivered. We go into 3-4 days break now and we would like to keep this winning momentum going.”

India had beaten New Zealand 4-3 on Friday as Season 4 kicked into life.

This week, a second mini tournament will take place in Mendoza when hosts Argentina men and women host Belgium and Germany.

Although the squads have yet to be announced, Gonzalo Peillat is set to return to his native Argentina for the first time since switching allegiances to Germany last year.

Peillat, 30, was in the Germany team which won a shoot-out draw and 6-3 victory – where he scored a double – over Argentina in the Pro League last season. He currently has eight caps following his 153 match haul for Los Leones.

Meanwhile, Great Britain begin their Pro League campaign in December when the men and women squads travel to Santiago del Estero, Argentina again the hosts, with the Netherlands also in action.

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