India hit Pakistan for six

India celebrate goal against Pakistan

Pakistan 1 (0)
Ajaz Ahmad 41 (FG)

India 6 (4)
Ramandeep Singh 8, 31 (FG, FG)
Talwinder Singh 25 (FG)
Mandeep Singh 27, 59 (FG, FG)
Harmanpreet Singh 36 (PC)

India convincingly beat Pakistan for the second time in a week at the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Finals. With the two rivals having already met in the group stages of the tournament, Pakistan were keen to make amends, having lost 7-1 to India the previous weekend. However, it wasn’t to be as a dominant Indian performance resulted in a 6-1 thrashing.

India showed attacking intent from the outset, taking the lead after just eight minutes. Satbir Singh fired a reverse stick ball goal wards and Ramandeep Singh was on hand to slot home from close range. Pakistan almost equalised straight from the re-start as they broke through the Indian defence, but there was no one in the circle to get on the end of Muhammad Yaqoob’s cross come shot.

In the second quarter, three goals in as many minutes for India effectively put the game out of Pakistan’s reach. Firstly Pardeep Mor fired a ball into the circle for Talwinder Singh to deflect past a helpless Amjad Ali at the near post. Akashdeep Singh then drove along the baseline, squeezing the ball under Ali from a tight angle before R. Singh got his second of the game after he was set up by Sunil Sowmarpet.

R. Singh almost bagged his hat-trick early on in the third quarter but his shot from close range was saved by the glove of Mazhar Abbas, a half time substitute for Ali, and scrambled clear by Muhammad Irfan JR. Abbas could do nothing about India’s fifth goal though when Harmanpreet Singh sent a low penalty corner drag flick into the bottom corner. In the 41st minute Pakistan finally managed to break through the Indian defence and nicked a consolation goal. Good build up play down the right hand side led to the ball being played into the circle to Ajaz Ahmad and the number 11 picked it up with his back to goal, before turning and slipping under Vikas Dahiya.

On the stroke of the full time whistle Mandeep Singh added the gloss to a dominant India performance, sealing a 6-1 victory. He beat Muhammad Aleem Bilal in the Pakistan defence before firing a shot through the legs of Abbas, to score his second of the game. India will now face Canada tomorrow in the 5th v 6th playoff whilst Pakistan take on China in the 7th v 8th classification match.