Monday, July 15, 2024

Asian Games: Indian men’s hockey team beats Bangladesh 12-0 to top Pool A, confirms semifinal berth

The Indian men’s hockey team on Monday qualified for the semifinal round of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, with a 12-0 win over Bangladesh.

With five wins in all their five Pool stage matches, India ended the Pool stage as table toppers. Harmanpreet Singh (2′, 4′, 32′), and Mandeep Singh (18′, 24′, 46) scored hat-tricks each, while Abhishek (41′, 57) scored a brace for India. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (23′), Amit Rohidas (28′), Nilakanta Sharma (47′), and Gurjant Singh (56′) also scored a goal each to help India get the win.

Jarmanpreet Singh led the first attack of the match from the right flanks to start the proceedings. The in-form Indian Captain Harmanpreet Singh (2′) was right on target on the first penalty corner as India took an early 1-0 lead. Moments later, Harmanpreet (4′) converted another set-piece to make it 2-0. Despite the early lead, the relentless Indian team continued to press deep, not allowing Bangladesh to make any inroads into their circle, and India maintained their 2-0 lead to close out the first quarter.

The start of the second quarter saw Bangladesh stringing along a few passes inside India’s half, but the attack was broken down by Sanjay. Minutes later, Mandeep Singh (18′) combined with Abhishek inside the circle to make it 3-0 for India. Abhishek provided his second assist of the match as a pass from him was deflected beautifully into the nets by Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (23′). A minute later, Mandeep Singh (24′) picked up a rebound from a penalty corner and struck it into the nets to make it 5-0 for India. Amit Rohidas (28′) showcased his dragflick abilities, scoring from a late penalty corner and India went into halftime with a 6-0 lead.

The second half started with India maintaining possession and looking to increase their lead. As Abhishek managed to earn an early penalty corner for India in the third quarter, Harmanpreet Singh (32′) found the nets again to complete his hat-trick. Amit Rohidas and Nilakanta Sharma defended well as Bangladesh made dangerous runs of their own. Late into the quarter, Abhishek (41′) picked up a long pass and hammered a powerful reverse hit into the nets, and India went into the final quarter with 8-0 lead.

At the start of the final quarter, Mandeep Singh (46′) struck the ball into the nets after receiving an aerial pass from Abhishek. Moments later, Nilakanta Sharma (47′) hit a powerful shot past Bangladesh’s goalkeeper as India took their goal tally to double digits. Exploiting a small gap available on the left flank, Sumit made a late circle penetration and passed the ball to Gurjant Singh (56′) in front of the nets who struck it past the goalkeeper to make it 11-0 for India. A minute later, Abhishek (57′) picked a pass from Gurjant Singh and struck it into the nets as India won the match 12-0.

Indian will compete in the semifinals on Wednesday.

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