Bhubaneswar: Favourites India thrashed Russia 10-0 in their opening game of the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament to start their 2020 Olympics qualification campaign on the best possible note, here on Thursday.
Dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh (32nd, 48th) and striker Akashdeep Singh (41st, 55th) scored a brace each while Nilkanata Sharma (13th), Simranjeet Singh (19th), Amit Rohidas (20th), Varun Kumar (33rd), Gursahibjit Singh (38th) and Vivek Sagar Prasad (45th) also got on the scoresheet for the home team in a lop-sided Pool B encounter.
There was only one team playing from the first whistle, as India took the lead in the 13th minute when Nilkanta deflected in Akshdeep Singh’s push from top of the D.
India doubled their lead in the 19th minute when Simranjeet scored from a rebound after Sumit’s reverse shot was saved by the Russian goalkeeper.
#FIHSeriesFinals #India #Odisha #Bhubaneswar
India’s captain Manpreet Singh: “The crowd here is always amazing and they always support us, so I want to tell them ‘thank you so much for your support!’.”@TheHockeyIndia pic.twitter.com/yzlZXtuWiq
— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) June 6, 2019
A minute later, Rohidas made it 3-0 from a penalty corner.
After change of ends, the Indians started dominating the Russians even more with Harmanpreet and Varun converting two penalty corners in consecutive minutes before Gursahibjit and Akshdeep scored two field goals in the 38th and 41st minutes, respectively.
Young Prasad also got on the scoresheet before Harmanpreet sounded the board again from a penalty corner.
Akashdeep scored his second goal of the day five minutes from the final hooter to complete the rout.
India will play Poland in their second pool match on Friday.
India thump New Zealand, wins Olympic test event
Tokyo: The Indian men’s hockey team won the Olympic Test event here on Wednesday, beating New Zealand 5-0 to avenge the loss it endured in their round robin clash.
Captain Harmanpreet Singh (7th minute) set the ball rolling before Shamsher Singh (18th minute), Nilakanta Sharma (22nd minute), Gursahibjit Singh (26th minute) and Mandeep Singh (27th minute) scored for India at the Oi Hockey Stadium here.
India had lost 1-2 to New Zealand earlier in round robin league-stage.
“We played very well. We managed to score our opportunities at the start of the game,” Harmanpreet said after the triumph.
“I think the final was always going to be tough, we lost to New Zealand earlier. But we had been having practice sessions after that and worked on our mistakes to win today,” he added.
Both teams began the match on a cautious note by turning over the ball in the mid-field. India won a penalty corner in the seventh minute, but couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity.
However, skipper Harmanpreet didn’t miss out on a re-awarded penalty corner. He executed a perfect dragflick to put India in the lead.
Make way for the WINNERS!! 🇮🇳🥇
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 21, 2019
The Indian team continued to hold possession and put tremendous pressure on the New Zealand defense as they ended the first quarter at 1-0.
Shamsher scored India’s second goal through a penalty corner in the 18th minute.
New Zealand managed to make only two circle entries in the second quarter as the Indian team scored three more goals.
Nilakanta found the back of the net in the 22nd minute before Gursahibjit and Mandeep scored in quick succession.
Vivek Prasad intercepted the ball brilliantly to assist a goal for Gursahibjit and Mandeep converted a penalty corner just before the half-time whistle.
After an action-packed first half, the intensity dropped from both sides. New Zealand tried to make a few inroads in the third quarter as they took a shot in the 37th minute which went wide of the post.
Jarmanpreet Singh saved a penalty corner in the next minute as India and New Zealand played out a goalless quarter but the former held the lead at 5-0.
In the last quarter, India ensured they stayed in the lead and didn’t allow New Zealand to break through their defense throughout the match.
India’s attacking approach in the match paid off as they walked off the pitch as winners of the competition.
Mandeep hat-trick sends India in final of Olympic hockey test event
Tokyo: Striker Mandeep Singh struck a fine hat-trick to help the Indian men’s hockey team beat hosts Japan 6-3 and book a summit clash berth in the olympic test event here on Tuesday. todays sports news headlines
The Indian team bounced back from their 1-2 loss against New Zealand with an impressive display in their third match at the Oi Hockey Stadium here. India again face New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday.
#TeamIndia beat Japan this morning to head into the big final tomorrow. 💪
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 20, 2019
Mandeep found the target in the 9th, 29th and 30th minutes while Nilakanta Sharma (3rd), Nilam Sanjeep Xess (7th) and Gurjant Singh (41st) were the other scorers for India. todays sports news headlines
Kentaro Fukuda (25th), Kenta Tanaka (36th) and Kazuma Murata (52nd) scored the goals for Japan.
Nilakanta gave India an excellent start through a field goal in the third minute. Buoyed by the early lead, the Indian team put tremendous pressure on the Japan defence as Gurjant Singh took a shot on goal, but saw his effort going wide of the post. todays sports news headlines
However, a penalty corner was awarded to India in the seventh minute which was converted brilliantly by Nilam Sanjeep to help the team take a 2-0 lead. todays sports news headlines
India continued to take the aggressive approach and Mandeep found the back of the net with an excellent field goal in the ninth minute.
Japan tried to make inroads in the last few minutes of the first quarter as they won a penalty corner. Gurinder Singh positioned himself brilliantly and defended the shot on the goal line. India led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.
India continued their attacking game in the second quarter with Jarmanpreet Singh taking a shot on goal, but putting it wide of the post. Captain Harmanpreet Singh had a shot on target, but the Japanese goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa pulled off a brilliant save.
Japan managed to open their account through a field goal through Kentaro Fukuda in the 25th minute, but Mandeep scored two field goals in quick succession to help India take a big 5-1 lead. The Indian vice-captain scored just before the half-time whistle in the 29th and 30th minutes.
Japan started the third quarter on an aggressive note. They took a shot on goal, which was blocked out brilliantly by goalkeeper Krishan Pathak. However, the Japanese team kept putting pressure on the Indian defence and found a field goal through Kenta Tanaka in the 36th minute.
India did not let the momentum shift towards the Japanese side as forward Gurjant found the back of the net in the 41st minute to make it 6-2 which put the world number 5 side in a dominant position at the end of the third quarter.
Japan attacked the Indian defence in the the fourth quarter and scored their third goal through Kazuma Murata in the 52nd minute. sports update
India were awarded a penalty corner with five minutes left on the clock, but the shot went wide off the post. India also saved a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the match. sports update
The win put India in the second spot in the points table and they face toppers New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday. sports update
India force a draw with Australia in Olympic test event
Tokyo: The Indian women’s hockey team came back twice from a goal deficit to hold world number 2 side Australia 2-2 in a hard-fought round-robin league match of the Olympic test vevent here on Sunday. current sports news
Vandana Katariya (36th) and Gurjit Kaur (59th) scored for India to cancel out strikes from Kaitlin Nobbs (14th) and Grace Stewart (43rd) in their second match of the tournament. India had beaten hosts Japan 2-1 in their first match on Saturday. current sports news
World number 10 India began the match aggressively, matching Australia’s attacking hockey with their own brand which saw both teams earn penalty corners. However, neither side managed to score. current sports news
But in the 14th minute, Australia were awarded a penalty stroke after an Indian defender blocked a shot at goal. Nobbs made no mistake in converting from the spot to give Australia a 1-0 advantage. current sports news
The world number 2 side dominated the second quarter completely, putting the Indian team under intense pressure through multiple attacks and penalty corners. But India’s defence held firm and goalkeeper Savita made a couple of great saves to deny Australia who were 1-0 up at the half-time break. current sports news
FT: 🇮🇳 2-2 🇦🇺
Gurjit's late equalizer salvages a draw for India! 👊🏻
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 18, 2019
The third quarter again saw Australia dominate possession and create a couple of goal-scoring opportunities through penalty corners. However, Savita again made fine saves to deny the Australians.
India struck on the break as Vandana Katariya finished off a superb move to equalise in the 36th minute. But the lead did not last long as Australia started to look for their second goal.
It was in the 43rd minute that Australia found their second goal through some exquisite team work, which saw Grace Stewart also registering her name on the score-sheet to give Australia a 2-1 lead.
It was a tough ask for the Indian team as Australia did not give them enough space inside the striking circle. However, the Indians showed determination as they kept looking for the equaliser in the last quarter.
With moves breaking down, and chances going waste, it looked like Australia would hold onto their 2-1 lead, but with just a couple of minutes remaining on the clock, India won a crucial penalty corner in the 59th minute.
And, prolific drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur stepped up and struck a sweet blow into the back of the net to earn India a well-deserved draw.
The Indian women’s team will face China on Tuesday in their third and last round-robin match of the tournament.
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