Asian Games 2023: Goal-fest continues for India in men's hockey, maul Singapore 16-1
India continued their goal-scoring spree after the 16-0 rout of Uzbekistan in their tournament opener as they found the net at will vs world No.49 Singapore.
Skipper Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh slammed a hat-trick each as favourites India mauled lowly Singapore 16-1 to register their second consecutive win in the men's hockey competition at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Tuesday.
The Indians continued their goal-scoring spree after the 16-0 rout of Uzbekistan in their tournament opener as they found the net at will against world No.49 Singapore.
Harmanpreet (24th, 39th, 40th, 42nd minutes) and Mandeep (12th, 30th, 51st), Abhishek (51st, 52nd), Varun Kumar (55th, 55th), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (16th), Gurjant Singh (22nd), Vivek Sagar Prasad (23rd), Manpreet Singh (37th), Shamsher Singh (38th) were the goal scorers for India.
India will next face defending champions Japan on Thursday.
Unexpectedly, the Indians started on a rather sedate note but completely enjoyed the ball possession.
The play was totally in Singapore's half as India dominated the proceedings from the start.
India's first chance came in the sixth minute but Sukhjeet Singh's shot was saved by Singapore goalkeeper Sandran Gugan.
India secured their first penalty corner in the next minute but skipper Harmanpreet Singh's flick was defended stoutly by the Singaporeans.
Two minutes later, Mandeep Singh earned India's second penalty corner but again Singapore goalkeeper Gugan made a terrific save with his stretched right leg to deny Harmanpreet.
India continued to attack and finally broke the deadlock in the 12th minute when Mandeep directed into the goal an inch-perfect pass from Gurjant Singh.
In the last two minutes of the the first quarter, India secured as many as three more penalty corners but wasted all.
In all, India secured five penalty corners in the first quarter but failed to convert a single one.
After a not-so-impressive first quarter, India upped their game in the next 15 minutes and pumped in five goals.
India doubled their lead just at the start of the second quarter through Lalit, who found the top right corner of the net after being fed by Sukhjeet, who tricked a couple of defenders and turned 180 degree to find his teammate.
India enjoyed the lion's share of the possession but were unable to find openings in the final third.
India extended their lead in the 21st minute through Gurjant. Mandeep, this time, turned provider as he came up with a cross from the left to find Gurjant who stretched his stick to perfection to find the back of the net.
A minute later, it was 4-0 in India's favour when Vivek Sagar Prasad deflected in a Sumit shot from inside the circle.
Harmanpreet finally converted a penalty corner for India in the very next minute to make the scoreline 5-0.
Another set piece followed soon and India went for variation but Sanjay failed to execute the effort.
Just at the stroke of half-time, India secured another penalty corner and this time Amit Rohidas' flick was deflected in by a well-positioned Mandeep.
There was another chance for India in the form of a penalty corner but yet again Harmanpreet fumbled as goalkeeper Gugan came to Singapore's rescue as the scoreline read 6-0 at the halfway break.
A minute after the change of ends, India secured their 11th penalty corner but Harmanpreet flick went wide of the goal.
India extended their lead in the 37th minute through Manpreet, who was at the right place to deflect in Harmanpreet's flick from a penalty corner.
It was raining goals for India as they pumped in three more in a span of three minutes with Harmanpreet finding the net twice from penalty corners to register a hat-trick in his name. The other goal was scored by Shamsher.
The goal-fest continued for India as they secured two more quick penalty corners and Harmanpreet extended his tally with yet another ferocious flick.
Out of the blue, Zaki Zulkarnain (53rd) scored a consolation goal for Singapore.
But goals continued to come thick and fast for India as Varun converted two consecutive penalty corners in the last five minutes of the match to complete the rout.
Penalty corners, though, continued to remain a concern for India as they converted just eight out of 22 secured in the match.