The Indian men’s hockey team opened their Commonwealth Games 2022 campaign with a resounding win as they trounced Ghana 11-0 on Sunday.
Harmanpreet Singh scored a fine hattrick and Jugraj Singh scored a brace as the Indian drag flickers were right on the money on the day.
India started off the blocks quickly and got a PC in the first minute. While Harmanpreet Singh’s drag flick was stopped by the Ghana goalkeeper, Abhishek was on hand to put India into the lead.
However, Ghana came back quickly and PR Sreejesh was called into action to make a fine save to help India preserve the lead. Ghana continued to apply the pressure and got a PC in the third minute. But the attempt was quickly thwarted.
India then kept the foot on the pedal and Mandeep Singh almost doubled the lead in the ninth minute. His first attempt was stopped by the Ghanian goalkeeper and the second one looped just over the post.
Harmanpreet got two consecutive PCs in the 10th minute. While his first attempt was saved, the Indian drag flicker wouldn’t be denied second time as he his effort found the back of the net.
The Indians continued their dominance and Abhishek and Shamsher combined to make it 3-0 in the 13th minute of the first quarter.
India came into the second quarter with the same intensity, as they kept entering the circle on the right-hand side. Akashdeep Singh then scored the fourth goal in the 20th minute with a beautiful effort.
Jugraj Singh’s PC in the 22nd minute hit the body of a Ghanian defender and he got a Penalty Stroke for it. He made no mistake with his effort to make it five for India.
It was one-way traffic at this point and in the 35th minute, Harmanpreet got his second goal of the day with an unstoppable drag flick to extend India’s lead to six. Nilkanta Sharma scored another in the 38th minute as he found the net after the Ghanian keeper’s clearance fell to him.
India made it 8-0 as Varun Kumar scored another PC for India in the 39th minute. With less than three minutes left on the clock at the end of the third quarter, Jugraj got his second from a well-taken PC. India hit their 10th goal as Mandeep Singh found the net as he completed a fine move from Gurjant Singh.
Harmanpreet completed his hattrick and extended India’s lead to 11 in the 53rd minute. Krishan Pathak, who didn’t have much to do, was on hand to preserve India’s clean sheet as he saved a drag flick from Ghana in the 54th minute.
India pushed on to find more goals but they had to settle for the 11-0 score line to start off the campaign with a bang.
The Indian team will now face England on 1st August in their second match.
— ENDS —