Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi
With a dominating performance, India beat Pakistan 7-1 to register their third straight win and seal a place in the quarter-finals of the Hockey World League Semi-Final on Sunday. India were on the offensive right from the world go and buoyed by Talwinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Akashdeep Singh’s double strikes, India went on to top the table in Pool B.
India got their first goal in the first quarter when skipper Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner. After Pardeep Mor won his team a second Penalty Corner, the drag-flicker Harmanpreet fired in a grounded stroke after a successful injection from Ramandeep to get India the lead.
The team went on to double the lead in the second quarter with Talwinder finding the net. After another forward push, SV Sunil took the hit and Talwinder gently pushed the ball inside the goalpost to give India a 2-0 lead in the 21st minute.
Talwinder went on to double his tally with another field goal in the 24th minute after the forward deflected a high ball into the cage.
Pakistan, who made repeated incursions into the Indian half, failed to find a goal while India pounced on most of their opportunities. In the third quarter, India won another PC and Harmanpreet found the net once again to put India 4-0 ahead. Pakistan continued to push forward and then earned two back-to-back PCs, but Indian custodian Vikas Dahiya, who too had a stellar game, denied the opposition.
India did not relent and made it 5-0, with forward Akashdeep getting himself on the scorer’s list courtesy a sublime pass from Sardar Singh. He fired right from the top of the Pakistan D and hit the mark in the final quarter. Mor then helped himself to goal with a fantastic strike. Pakistan pulled one back late in the match with a 57th minute strike from Muhammad Umar Bhutta. But India completed the rout with Akashdeep Singh finding the net in the 59th minute. India will next play Netherlands on Tuesday.
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