India begin Hockey World League Semi-final with 4-1 win over Scotland
India claimed their first win of the Hockey World League Semi-final after they beat Scotland 4-1 in their opening game in London. Ramandeep Singh scored two goals for India while Akashdeep and Harmanpreet Singh scored a goal each.
Scotland would have given themselves a chance to cause a big upset after the scoreline read 1-0 in their favour at half-time break. They had India on the back-foot in their first match of the Hockey World League Semi-final in London. They took the lead in the fifth minute through their captain Chris Grassick, who finished a stunning pass from the the right side.
The kept their lead and pressure on India till half-time as India failed to break their defence. It was the Scottish team that controlled the pace of the game in the first half and allowed India only three chances on target.
But, it was completely different story in the second half. Only in the 31st minute, Ramandeep Singh pulled off a stunning reverse stick shot and sent it straight in to the top corner past the goalkeeper to bring India level. In the next minute, he tapped in a pass from SV Sunil to send India into the lead. It was perfectly executed goal between two of the most experienced forwards in the Indian team. Sunil brought the ball all along the baseline beating two defenders before passing it to Ramandeep.
India tightened the screws on Scotland with third goal in the quarter. It was Talwinder Singh who dragged a powerful flick into the circle. It missed all defenders and Akashdeep Singh, who was running towards the ball, hit it around knee-height and deflected it into the goal.
If that was not enough, young Harmanpreet Singh converted the only penalty corner of the match. Six minutes before the end of the third quarter, Sunil was brought down in the circle and India were awarded a penalty corner.
Harmanpreet, India’s go-to-man for drag flicks in the absence of Rupiunder Pal Singh, made no mistake in converting it. He gave no chance to the goalkeeper, hitting the ball in the top left corner with power.
India tried to keep the ball under their possession for major part of the fourth quarter. Scotland tried their best but failed to keep the possession and suffered a 4-1 defeat.
India go top of the table in Pool B after the win and next face Canada, a team which had faced in the 2016 Rio Olympics as well.
Provided by : http://indianexpress.com