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India give China a lesson in hockey

India played an attacking game to outplay China 4-1 in a pool A match of the Champions Challenge I hockey tournament underway here.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2009 00:10 IST

India played an attacking game to outplay China 4-1 in a pool A match of the Champions Challenge I hockey tournament underway here.

Prabhjot Singh (7th minute) Rajpal Singh (35), Sarwanjit Singh (56) and Shivendra Singh (70) scored for India. China pulled one back through Yi Song in the 41st minute.

Having drawn their opening match against New Zealand, India showed intent against China right from the start Tuesday.

India were promptly on the attack and earned a series of penalty corners. They missed the first one, before Prabhjot scored from the second on a rebound. India kept the pressure on the Chinese defence with their swift passes.

Rifeng Su stood tall in the Chinese goal and skilfully saved some dangerous shots from close range and also kept some penalty-corner attempts by Dhananjay Mahadik at bay.

China took advantage of green cards to Indian players and looked more threatening but missed two successive penalty corners.

Indian forwards then made a move in the final minutes of the first half and Rajpal deflected the ball from close range to increase their lead.

India could have pumped in some more goals but failed to penetrate as the players relied more on individual runs and long balls over collective built-up. China reduced the gap with a penalty-stroke powerfully shot by Song. Despite a yellow card to Yongxin Cui, India still could not add the tally.

Sarwanjit then placed India on a comfortable two-goal cushion when he scored through a penalty-corner. China increased the pressure in the final minutes but failed to make the most of the opportunities. India went on to a 4-1 win lead after a last minute field goal by Shivendra.

In other group matches, Argentina scored a decisive 3-1 victory over Pakistan.

New Zealand defeated Belgium 4-1 while South Africa got the better of Canada by the same margin.

In pool A, both India and New Zealand are on four points followed by Belgium and China.

Argentina lead pool B with six points after two wins followed by South Africa, Pakistan and Canada.