Reigning Champions Indian Men’s Hockey Team continued their rampaging performance at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang as they notched up a 26-0 victory against a hapless Hong-Kong China in their second Pool A match here on Wednesday. With this victory, India registered their highest ever victory margin in the history of the Asian Games.
Hong-Kong China had little chance against a strong Indian defence that kept them from entering the striking circle, and yet again the Indian goalkeeper was rarely tested with no potential shots on goal taken by Hong-Kong China. The Indian attackers, meanwhile, ran riot scoring insatiable goals at heady pace.
India’s dragflick expert Rupinder Pal Singh scored maximum of five goals (3’, 5’, 30’, 45’, 60’) while his young compatriot Harmanpreet Singh scored four goals (29’, 52’, 53’, 55’).
A Hat-trick of goals were scored by striker Akashdeep Singh (2’, 32’, 35’) and Manpreet Singh (3’, 17’), Lalit Upadhyay (17’, 19’), Varun Kumar (23’, 30+) scored twice while SV Sunil (7’), Vivek Sagar Prasad (14’), Mandeep Singh (21’), Amit Rohidas (27’), Dilpreet Singh (48’), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (51’), Simranjeet Singh (53’) and Surender Kumar (55’) too contributed to India’s scoreline.
This performance took India’s total score in the tournament thus far to a marvellous 43 goals.
India remained consistent with their goal-conversion rate with 42 per cent as they scored 26 goals from 59 shots on goal. They made 38 field goal attempts to score 17 of them while they won 21 PCs and scored 9 from it.
“Though the victory margin is overwhelming, I feel we dropped the pace of our attack a little bit after the half-time. If we had continued the same way we played in the first half, our score line would have been bigger. I don’t think they were complacent but missed scoring from different variations they were attempting,” expressed Chief Coach Harendra Singh post match.
While scoring big wins against minnows like Indonesia and Hong-Kong China was a given, up next India face potentially strong teams Japan on Friday 24th August 2018, followed by Korea on 26th August 2018.
“We need to keep up this momentum going into the next two matches where both teams will challenge the Indian attack and they are good with their counter attacks, so we must be very cautious with our defence too and not allow chances for counter attacks. We must play to our strength and be focused on getting past our first hurdle of making the Semi Final as Pool A topper,” asserted Singh.
India play their next match on 24 August 2018 against Japan at 18.30hrs IST.