The Indian Men’s Hockey Team continued their impressive 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, the defending champions 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.
India’s dragflick expert Rupinder Pal Singh scored five (3’, 5’, 30’, 45’, 60’) while his young compatriot Harmanpreet Singh got on the scoresheet four times (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.
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 1830hrs IST.
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will also be in action on 25 August 2018 against Korea in their third Pool B match.