A clinical all-round performance took India to a 3-0 win over Canada in their second match of the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final today. Goals by SV Sunil (5′), Akashdeep Singh (10′) and Sardar Singh (18′) helped India register their second win from as many matches in Pool B to top the table.
Keeping the momentum ablaze from the Opening match against Scotland, India started off with strong defense and aggressive counter-attacking skills. The effort resulted in winning a penalty corner in the opening minute of the match. Forward SV Sunil at the baseline found the foot of Canadian defender but the chance went amiss with Harmanpreet Singh’s powerful flick going above the post.
The miss couldn’t dawn the enthusiasm as it ignited more power in the attacks and Sunil found an early breakthrough in the 5th minute when he fired across from the baseline to put the ball in the post. Five minutes later, the lead was doubled with Akashdeep Singh timing his run perfectly to receive from Ramandeep Singh from the top of the circle to deflect the ball past Canadian keeper David Carter. India went into the first break with a solid 2-0 lead. The quarter ended with 2-0 scoreline in favor of India.
Coming off the break, India kept the pressure on Canada with their third goal in the 18th minute to take a formidable 3-0 lead. It was Ramandeep Singh on the counter attack who accelerated towards the circle to push the ball towards Sardar Singh who had doubled up as a forward. The celebrated midfielder was effortless in nicking the ball into the post leaving no chance for Carter to save. Even as Canada struggled to find an opportunity to score, Indian defenders were up to the task to keep them at bay. Teams went into halftime with 3-0 scoreline and it stayed the scoreline of the match.
In a post match interaction with media, Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans said, “We played well in first two quarter but were a bit unlucky to convert chances in the third and fourth quarter, credit must go to the Canadian goalkeeper for coming up with good saves. Overall I am pleased with the performance.”
“We want to give our best against Pakistan. Cricket also playing Champions Trophy final and we are confident that India will win in Cricket as well as in Hockey,” said an excited skipper Manpreet Singh about their next match against Pakistan.
India will play Pakistan in their third Pool B match on June 18 at 18.30 hours IST.