Lucknow, Dec 8 (IANS) India thrashed minnows Canada 4-0 to give their campaign at the 11th FIH Junior Hockey World Cup a rousing start here on Thursday.
India led through a Mandeep Singh (35th minute strike) on the brink of half-time before striking thrice through Harmanpreet Singh (46th), Varun Kumar (60th) and Ajit Pandey (66th) in the second period.
The Indians dominated proceedings right from the start and pushed the Canadians onto the backfoot.
But the visitors produced some gritty defending to prevent the Indians from scoring for most of the first half.
The hosts earned two penalties in the early stages but could not capitalise on them. Canadian goalkeeper Iqwinder Gill produced a superb save to keep out an effort from Harmanpreet.
The relentless pressure by the Indians finally bore fruit almost at the stroke of half-time when Mandeep punched in a rebound to open the scoring.
The hosts dominated the second half as well. They earned two consecutive penalty corners a little after the restart but could not capitalise on them.
They doubled their tally a few minutes later when Harmanpreet scored from a penalty stroke.
The Indians created several more chances before Varun struck from a penalty corner to score the third goal for the hosts.
Pandey then rounded off the tally in the closing stages when he struck a field goal after some excellent build-up play.