HWL Semi Final: India earn a 7-1 thumping win over arch-rivals Pakistan
Talwinder Singh (Image: HI)
While cricket brought sorrow to India as the Indian team surrendered all their canons against a decent bowling display, same was not a case at all in field hockey. India dominated the match and drub a “weak” Pakistan team 7-1 at the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final today. Harmanpreet Singh (13’, 33’), Talwinder Singh (21’, 24’), Akashdeep Singh (47’, 59’) and Pardeep Mor (49’) scored for India.
India fresh from their two consecutive wins in the two matches they had played before this, ensured that they lead the points table in Pool B of the tournament. Pakistan would have thought to make a match of this match in a not so good tournament in terms of performance, but India had a different strategy in place.
The match started with aggression as Pakistan got their first opportunity in the 3rd minute of the match which went off target. India won the first PC of the match soon after when a Pakistani defender fouled in the circle. A good dragflick by Harmanpreet Singh was thwarted by Pakistan’s first runner to deny an early lead.
Hits and misses kept happening till the 13th minute of the match when India got the scoreboard rolling with India’s dragflick sensation Harmanpreet Singh’s impeccable hit, where the ball went low to beat the goalkeeper. Teams went into break with 1-0 in India’s favor.
Second quarter was also as much the same story of hits and misses till Indian forwards pushed the pressure up with a strong attack that ensured India doubled the lead in the 21st minute, through a Talwinder Singh deflection into the opponents goal. The striker got another chance and made the best use of it three minutes later to give India a 3-0 lead. Half time scoreline read 3-0 in favor of India.
Coming post the break, India had just one thing to do, to keep the momentum intact as India did it brilliantly. In the 33rd minute of the match, Harmanpreet Singh scored his second and India’s fourth goal to increase the deficit. Pakistan tried to make a comeback with strong attack at display but an agile Indian defense denied any hit at the Indian goalpost. Teams signed off for the third break with a 4-0 scoreline in favor of India.
Back in the field for the last time, India scored thrice while Pakistan had their consolation hit at the Indian goal post. India won the match 7-1 to lead the pool B of the league.
India is scheduled to play Netherlands in their fourth Pool B match on June 20 at 18.30 hours IST.