Skipper Harmanpreet Singh (4) and mid fielder Mandeep Singh (3) led the charge as title contender India swamped Singapore 16-1 to record their second successive win in its Pool A Hockey match In the Asian Games at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium here on Tuesday.
World ranked 3, India had registered a thumping 16-0 win over Uzbekistan in the opener, and with today’s victory, men in blue consolidated their position at the top of hockey Pool A standings. The top two from each pool will make the semi-finals.
Mandeep Singh (12’, 30’, 51’), Lalit Upadhyay (16’), Gurjant Singh (22’), Vivek Sagar Prasad (23’), Harmanpreet Singh (24’, 39’,40’, 42’), Manpreet Singh (37’), Samsher Singh (38’), Abhishek (51’, 52’) and Varun Kumar (55’, 56’) scored in this huge win. Muhammad Zaki Bin Zulkarnain (53’) scored the consolation goal for Singapore.
With captain Harmanpreet Singh returning to the playing XI after sitting out the Uzbekistan match, India went on the attack straight away, forcing world No. 49 Singapore to defend deep. The winners kept making inroads into the opponent’s half and opened the scoring with a field goal.
Mandeep Singh redirected a pass from Gurjant Singh to break the deadlock. The first quarter ended with India leading 1-0.
Three-time Asian Games champion India doubled their lead minutes into the second quarter. Sukhjeet dribbled inside the Singapore half and passed it to an onrushing Lalit Upadhyay, who turned it in to make it 2-0.
Before Singapore could regroup from the early blows, India hammered in four more goals via Gurjant Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh, who scored his second goal of the match in the dying seconds of the first half. The score at the break read 6-0.
After the break, India continued their domination and scored 10 more while Singapore pulled one back through Muhammad Zaki Bin Zulkarnain. Harmanpreet Singh scored four while Mandeep Singh notched up a hat-trick, his second in as many matches at Hangzhou 2023.
India will play defending champion Japan on Thursday.