Hangzhou: Indian Men’s Hockey Team started their campaign at the 19th Asian Games with a massive 16-0 win over Uzbekistan in Pool A match here Sunday.
Varun Kumar (12′, 36′, 50′, 52′) scored four goals, while Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (7′, 24′, 53′), and Mandeep Singh (18′, 27′, 28′) scored hat-tricks each. Sukhjeet Singh (37′, 42′) scored a brace, while Abhishek (17′), Amit Rohidas (38′), Shamsher Singh (43′), and Sanjay (57′) scored a goal each for India.
India began on the front foot straightaway building dangerous moves from the right flank to trouble Uzbekistan’s defence. With Uzbeks defending in numbers, India started searching for gaps to penetrate the circle. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (7′) broke the resistance with a reverse hit into the back of the nets and put India ahead.
With long passes from Jarmanpreet Singh, India kept launching counter-attacks, and Varun Kumar (12′) struck the nets from a Penalty Corner to give India a 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Mandeep dribbled past Uzbek defenders and passed the ball to Abhishek (17′) in the circle, who spun and struck the ball into the nets to extend India’s lead to 3-0. In the next minute, Mandeep (18′) found himself in a 1v1 situation against Uzbekistan goalkeeper and easily put the ball into the nets to make it 4-0.
A quick start from a long corner led to Lalit (24′) scoring his second goal of the match with another reverse hit. Late in the second quarter, Mandeep (27′, 28′) tapped the ball into the nets after a pass from Gurjant Singh and completed his hat-trick a minute later after getting another goal from a Penalty Corner. India reached halftime with a massive 7-0 lead.