Asian Games 2018: Indian men's hockey team breaks the record for highest number of tournament goals
Harendra's Singh's marauding Indian team is on a record-breaking spree at Jakarta. After a thumping victory against Hong Kong by a 26-0 margin on Wednesday, the Indians had registered their biggest win ever, and also set a new Games record.
After today's 8-0 win against the Japanese, the Indians have also broken the Asian Games record for the highest number of goals scored in a single edition of the tournament which was set by Zafar Iqbal's team during the 1982 Asiad.
Sportskeeda had earlier reported that the Indian men's team were on the verge of bettering the 36-year-old record, and did so in style against Siegfried Aikman's Japan.
During the ninth edition of the Asian Games at Delhi, eventual silver-medalists India had powered their way to the final by scoring 44 goals and conceding just three. The Indians had brushed aside every other team in the group stages which included Hong Kong (10-0), Malaysia (5-1), Bangladesh (12-0), and Oman (10-0).
The Indians captained by Zafar Iqbal had beaten Japan 7-2 in the semifinals to set up a summit clash with their subcontinental rivals.
In the finals against Pakistan, the Indians conceded seven goals and scored only one, but even so, managed to record the highest number of goals scored in a single Asian Games tournament.
The total of 45 goals has remained a record but Sreejesh's boys have achieved the milestone with two group matches - and a possible semifinal and final still to be played.
With today's win, the Indians have, thus far, scored an incredible 51 goals in three matches, and look well set to top their pool.
Indian goalie Sreejesh was tested for the first time in the tournament, and Kenta Tanaka looked dangerous for a while, but the sheer skill and quality of the defending champions was far too much for the Japanese to handle.
Dilpreet Singh was at his brilliant best, scoring a goal off a magnificent reverse shot in the 12th minute, and his guide and mentor, Akashdeep stunned spectators after doing the same from a near-impossible angle a minute into the final quarter.
The towering Rupinder scored one from a PC and one from a penalty stroke. Mandeep Singh scored two opportunistic goals - the first off an assist from Amit Rohidas immediately after the long breather, and the second in the 56th minute when he pounced on the rebound after Dilpreet's shot had been blocked by the goalie.
Young Vivek too found the mark with some help from Dilpreet, while Akashdeep did most of the work before Sunil deflected the ball home to register India's first goal in the 7th minute.
The Indians do need to work on their PCs, as the injections and the stops were far from impressive but that apart, this has indeed been a class act by Harendra Singh's boys who will now meet South Korea in their next pool match on Sunday.