Sunday, 27 May, 2018

HWL Semi Final: India rout Pakistan 7-1 to enter quarters

Rita Gibson | 19 June, 2017, 15:18

India chief hockey coach Roelant Oltmans exuded satisfaction after his boys went on a goal spree against Pakistan in the Hockey World League Semi-Final but said they still need to work on some areas.

Hero of the Junior World Cup, Harmanpreet Singh scored the first goal on a penalty corner in the first quarter of the match. Into the third quarter, Harmanpreet struck in the 33rd minute.

Contrary to the result, it was Pakistan who made a bright start but their domination lasted only the first 10 minutes.

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India displayed a strong all-around performance and Akashdeep Singh was the star of the show as he scored a brace. This goal was Pakistan's first in three encounters during which their own citadel has fallen 17 times and includes a humiliating six-goal loss to Canada. In the next minute, India messed up a penalty corner of their own, but made up for it by doubling his tally in the very next minute. Even as the cricket teams will battle it out for the Champions Trophy at The Oval, the hockey teams lock horns for a pulsating Pool B match at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Earlier India had defeated Scotland 4-1 and Canada 3-0.

India may well have suffered a 180-rout at the hands of Pakistan in the Champions Trophy cricket final but they came out on tops on the other side of London - in field hockey. India maintained the 4-0 lead until the end of 4th quarter. India previously played The Netherlands at the 2016 Rio Olympics where they narrowly lost 1-2. And while India's true test in the tournament will come on Tuesday against Netherlands, there were still many positives the team will take away from their match on Sunday. But India completed the rout with Akashdeep Singh finding the net in the 59th minute.

At the pre-match press conference, Kohli enthused, "I have played with the synthetic hockey balls indoors but have never tried hockey". Talwinder first got a touch on Ramandeep's goal-bound shot in the 21st minute and his opportunism then produced a shoulder-high deflection on Akashdeep's diagonal ball into the circle in the 24th minute.

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