Asian Champions Trophy 2016: India squash China 9-0
The Indian men's hockey team assured their place in the final four of the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy with their spectacular 9-0 victory over neighbours China at Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium. The win which saw India leapfrog Malaysia to the top of the table has all but sealed their spot in the semis.
Playing 18th ranked China, the Indian hockey team led by Rupinder Pal Sing looked defensively concrete coming into the game. Offensively, we saw a great exchange of passes between strikers Uthappa and Lalit in the upper half of the pitch.
India who have won 4 out of their last 5 international clashes against China, started off attacking early and it paid off when 6 minutes into the first half, Akashdeep intercepted a Chinese backpass, and after dribbling past the last defender made an impeccable backhanded finish to the extreme right of the keeper.
India looked ready to prey on any Chinese error as they established their stronghold on the game scoring at regular intervals with both Affan and Jasjit lodging goals within the first 10 minutes of the second quarter.
India went into the break leading 4-0 with the last goal of the half being scored by skipper Rupinder Singh who became the tournament's highest scorer with a total tally of 8 goals.
The first half merely looked like a trailer as the Chinese team was left blazed by a series of Indian attacks. The change of keeper during half time by China wasn't enough to protect them as The Men in Blue doubled their lead in the third quarter itself.
Akashdeep and Affan scored again while Lalit and Nikkin opened their scoring account for the day taking India's lead to 8-0 by the end of the third quarter. By then, the fans were guaranteed of an Indian win.
The final nail in the coffin was put by a phenomenal finish from Jasjit Singh as India finished with a whopping 9 goal defeat of China.
India are now at the top of the table with 10 points from 4 matches. They next play hosts Malaysia, who are placed second in the group tomorrow at Kuantan.