Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Putting behind their tentative display against England, India pumped out all their pent-up frustration on Canada drubbing them 8-0 in the Men’s hockey Tournament at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday in Birmingham.
Harmanpreet Singh (7′, 56′), and Akashdeep Singh (37’, 60′) scored a brace each, while Amit Rohidas (10′), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (20′), Gurjant Singh (27′), and Mandeep Singh (58′) chipped with one goal each.
With the win, India climbed to the top of the Pool B table with 7 points in 3 games.
Scoring four goals in each half India overwhelmed disjointed Canada who looked rudderless and clueless.
According to the experts here this is the weakest Canadian hockey team in recent times but it was expected that they will give Indian some resistance but that was not to be.
Indians seems to have learnt a bitter lesson from their previous encounter with England as today they played a clean and flawless less game and were not flagged for cards .
The men in blue came with a plan and they executed it brilliantly and the score line would have been much higher but for few missed chances.
India opened the game, attacking down the left flank straightaway with Hardik Singh and Akashdeep Singh threatening Canada’s defence. Captain Manpreet Singh slipped an excellent pass to Lalit Kumar Upadhyay inside the striking circle, but the shot from the latter just went wide.
Harmanpreet Singh put India in lead as he scored the first goal from a Penalty Corner. Minutes later, Amit Rohidas broke past the rival defence from the left flank as he struck a powerful hit into the nets to make it 2-0.
India continued threatening penetrations inside the circle in the early minutes of the second quarter as Canada went deep into their own half to defend their goal.
India earned another Penalty Corner, Lalit Upadhyay scored from a rebound (3-0).
Minutes later, Abhishek tried a reverse hit on target after receiving a long pass. but goalkeeper Ethan McTavish made a clean save. Hardik Singh passed the ball into the circle from the left flank and Gurjant Singh got his stick just in time to push the ball into the nets as India went into halftime with a 4-0 lead.
India kept the pressure on Canadian defence, continuing to attack in numbers, as the second half kicked off.
Hardik Singh pressed deep inside the opposition’s defence as Akashdeep Singh struck a snap shot from the edge of the circle into the nets (5-0)
With Captain Manpreet Singh running back and forth the length of the field, Canada forwards were stranded in midfield, and were unable to stitch too many dangerous attacks of their own inside India’s circle.
In the last quarter India increased the pressure to get more goals on the board., Mandeep Singh passed the ball to Jarmanpreet Singh, but Canada were able to clear the danger.
A couple of stunning saves were made by Candian defence after Mandeep Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad struck powerful shots on target. ”
A late penalty corner opportunity created by Nilakanta Sharma allowed Harmanpreet Singh to get another goal on the board (6-0). With only minutes left on the clock, Mandeep Singh struck a tomahawk into the nets (7-0), while Akashdeep Singh added another goal in the final seconds, as India went on to wrapped up the match 8-0.