Jakarta: Defending champions India made a mockery of Sri Lankan challenge pumping in 20 goals to remain unbeaten in the pool stages and setting up a tricky semifinal clash against Malaysia in the men’s hockey competition at the Asian Games here Tuesday.
It has been a scintillating performance from the Indians in the pool stages as they scored as many as 76 goals and conceded just three. Akashdeep Singh (ninth, 11th, 17th, 22nd, 32nd, 42nd) scored six goals while Rupinder Pal Singh (first, 52nd, 53rd), Harmanpreet Singh (fifth, 21st, 33rd) and Mandeep Singh (35th, 43rd, 59th) struck thrice each as India completely dismantled the Sri Lankan defence from start to finish. Lalit Upadhyay (57th, 58th), Vivek Sagar Prasad (31st), Amit Rohidas (38th) and Dilpreet Singh (53rd) scored a goal each.
India, thus, topped Pool Pool A with an all-win record from five games and will take on second placed team in Pool B, Malaysia in the first semifinal Thursday.
Having already secured their place in the semi-finals, the match against Sri Lanka was an inconsequential encounter for the Indians but they came out full steam to decimate the islanders. Such was India’s domination was that the Lankans failed to register a single shot at the Indian goal, leave aside earning any penalty corners.
Such was India’s confidence that they withdrew their goalkeeper one minute from the hooter for an extra field player and the move bore fruit as they scored six goals in that period.