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.
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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.