It was a perfect start for the Indian men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 team as they crushed South Africa by 5-0 in their opening Pool C match played at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar played on Wednesday. The Indian team produced a dominating performance and just showed their class winning the match with ease.
For the first 9 minutes, the Indian team was not able to score a goal because the forward could not record a meaningful shot on target. India earned a penalty corner and a brilliant rebound shot by Mandeep Singh in the 10th minute gave the hosts a 1-0 lead. While 2 minutes later, a superb field goal by Akashdeep Singh helped the hosts increase their lead to 2-0. At the end of the first quarter, India led 2-0.
In the second quarter India continued their domination over South Africa in the first 7-8 minutes. South Africa controlled the game for the first time. India earned one penalty corner in the second quarter but could not convert it into a goal. Despite, India attacking, South Africa played good hockey putting pressure on Indian defence. At the end of first half India led 2-0.
It was another dominating display by Indian attackers in the first half of the third quarter. Both teams had no clear chances of scoring goals. In the 34th minute, India earned a penalty corner but missed the chance of scoring a goal. India continued to put pressure on South Africa defence with attacking play. South Africa earned their first penalty corner in the 42nd minute but the Indian defence denied South Africa a goal.
In the 43rd minute, Simranjeet Singh scored an excellent field goal as Mandeep Singh gave a pass to Simranjeet Singh to give India a 3-0 lead. Before the 3rd quarter ended, Lalit Upadhyay scored a brilliant field goal. At the end of the 3rd quarter, India led 4-0.
In the first minute of the final quarter, India earned their 4th penalty corner and great field goal by Simranjeet Singh in the 46th minute helped them to make it 5-0 lead. The Indian team continued their dominating performance. South Africa attacked in the last few minutes but could not succeed. India won the match by 5-0.
India tops the points table with a better goal difference. In the first match of the day, Belgium defeated Canada 2-1. The winner of each pool will qualify for the quarter finals directly.
India’s next match will be against Belgium on 2nd December.
Head to Sportskeeda to check out the schedule for the upcoming matches at the Men's Hockey World Cup 2018