India blank Poland 10-0, set up title clash with Korea in Azlan Shah Cup Hockey

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Ipoh (Malaysia): Displaying awesome fire power  India dismantled Poland 10-0  here on Friday to  setup a title clash with former Asian Games champion Korea in the  28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey.

The final is scheduled to be played on Saturday.

For India who led  6-0 at half time goal scorer were Varun Kmar, Mandeep Singh (two each) ,Vivek Sagar Prasad , Sumit Kumar (Jr) Surender Kumar , Simranjeet Singh , Nilakanta Sharma , and Amit Rohidas (one each)

 Mandeep Singh , who was declared man of the match has so far scored the highest goals (seven) in the tournament followed by team mate  Varun Kumar (five).

India, after finishing the round robin league stage without losing a match, were off to a blistering start taking a 2-0 lead in first  seven minutes of the game .

Vivek Sagar Prasad put India ahead in the first minute and six- minute later  Sumit Kumar’s (Jr) intercepted  Mandeep Singh’s backhand pass in the circle  and slammed the ball into the cave .

The winners totally dominated the proceedings and executed their plans to perfection.India increased the pressure on the rivals who fell back to protect their citadel but that strategy did not help them as  Sumit (Jr)  managed  to earn a penalty corner  in the 18thminute  which was converted by dragflicker Varun Kumar. 

The following minute saw Amit Rohidas  creating an opening which led to a penalty corner.  Surender Kumar made no mistake in sending the ball home.

Despite taking 4-0 lead, there was no relaxing of pressure by the Indians and their lead went up 5-0  in the 24th minute, when Varun Kumar found the target  off a direct, powerful flick.

Simranjeet Singh added to the team’s lead when he worked with Mandeep Singh after receiving a good assist from Nilakanta Sharma to put the ball past Polish goalkeeper Mateusz Popiolkowski. 

With a formidable 6-0 lead at half-time, India continued to dominate with their midfielders playing responsibly, shifting the ball swiftly and fiercely to make space. In the 36th minute, Nilakanta Sharma intercepted a measured cross from Sumit in the circle and deflected it home (7-0). 

The goal line would have been higher but for some brilliant saving the Polish goalkeeper. He cleared and blocked shots taken by Gursahibjit Singh and Simranjeet Singh early in the fourth quarter. A powerfully struck penalty corner by Amit Rohidas too was well-saved by Popiolkowski.

India’s eighth and ninth goal came off skilful displays by Mandeep Singh. He cut through couple of defenders and then foiled   Michal Raciniewski’s attempt to block him and with a direct crack   sent the ball home. His second goal was well-assisted by Gurinder Singh.

The winners completed the tally with Amit Rohidas converting a penalty  corner. 



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