After the 16-0 hammering of lowly Fiji in their opening match, Indian men’s hockey team chalked up their second straight win, trouncing Oman 9-1 in the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 tournament at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.
India meant business from the starting hooter against the 36th ranked Oman, forcing their first penalty corner as early as in the third minute. Vokkaliga Raghunath rifled home to draw first blood for the hosts.
Pumped up after the early opening goal, Indian took the attack to the opposition and nearly doubled their lead when Dharamvir Singh muffed up a scoring opportunity in a one-on-one situation.
Oman, coached by former German forward Oliver Kurtz had a busy time in their own half as they tried to resist a wave of attacks from the Indians.
India won their second penalty corner in the 13th minute but Rupinder Pal Singh’s direct attempt was saved on the goaline by an Omani defender.
Rupinder, who was surprised by the goaline save, soon made amends in the 14th minute off India’s third penalty corner. Raghunath sold a dummy and played it to Rupinder who banged home in style.
Nithin Thimmaiah scored the goal of the match in the 16th minute when he scored an acrobatic goal, leaping past an onrushing Omani goalkeeper Al Balushi.
Four minutes later, an overlapping Raghunath fed Mandeep Singh who brilliantly set it up for Dharamvir Singh to tap it home.
Oman earned their first penalty corner in the 21st minute but failed to profit from them. But that disappointment of bungling the scoring opportunity was made up for by Al Shar, who bludgeoned home in the 34th minute.
India forced their fourth short corner at the stroke of half-time but Raghunath failed to cash on it as they went into interval with a cosy 4-1 lead.
India struck early in the second home when Mandeep Singh engineered a short corner. Rupinder whipped home India’s fifth penalty corner in the 38th minute – his second of the match.
Raghunath added his second and India’s sixth goal a minute later when he came up with a rasping drag-flick of India’s sixth penalty corner.
India were reduced to ten men in the 42nd minute as Rupinder was yellow-carded. The hosts were hardly affected by this as Mandeep Singh scored his maiden senior international goal in the 43rd minute to make it 7-1.
Nitin Thimmaiah racked up the eighth goal in the 61st minute when he slammed home from the top of the striking circle.
Mandeep Singh had a chance to score his second goal of the match but his reverse hit sailed wide.
India had another fine chance to add one more to their tally when SV Sunil essayed a fine pass to Manpreet Singh in the 63rd minute, who managed to win India’s seventh penalty corner. Gurjinder Singh missed that direct opportunity but there was a rebound chance for Mandeep Singh, who played it wide.
Gurjinder soon redeemed himself four minutes from the final hooter when he rocketed home from India eighth short corner.
India now take on Ireland in their third match on Thursday.