The Indian men’s hockey team decimated lowly Ghana 11-0 in its opening Pool B match of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday (July 31). As expected, the Indians were relentless in their attacks and completely controlled the proceedings from start to finish.
The Indians played to their strength and scored five in the first half before pumping in four and two goals in the last two quarters. India converted six out of 13 penalty corners they earned in the match.
Vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh (11th, 35th, 53rd) scored a hat-trick, while Abhishek (2nd minute), Shamsher Singh (14th), Akashdeep Singh (20th), Jugraj Singh (22nd, 43rd), Nilakanta Sharma (38th), Varun Kumar (39th) and Mandeep Singh (48th) were the other goal getters for India.
Our hearty compliments to Harmanpreet Singh on completing 150 international caps.#IndiaKaGame #HockeyIndia #B2022 #Birmingham2022 @CMO_Odisha @IndiaSports @sports_odisha @Media_SAI pic.twitter.com/MUBAcWA5Ru
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) July 31, 2022
It was a completely dominating performance from the Indians as they hardly allowed Ghana into their D. Ghana had their occasional chances in the form of five penalty corners but the Indian defence was up to its best to deny its opponents.
The Indians were straightaway on the money, securing their first penalty corner in the very first minute of the match and Abhishek was at the right time at the right place to find the target on rebound.
The Indians kept up the pressure and secured another penalty corner in the 11th minute which was duly converted by Harmanpreet. Shamsher extended India’s lead by pushing home a brilliant move from Lalit Upadhayay and Abhishek.
Akshdeep made the scoreline 4-0 in the 20th minute with a fine reverse hit after receiving an accurate pass from Abhishek. India were awarded a penalty corner two minutes later and Jugraj was up to the task.
Five minutes after the change of ends, Harmanpreet scored his second goal from a penalty corner. Three minutes later, Nilakanta joined the party as he put the rebound in the back of the net after Ghana goalkeeper Offei saved a shot from Jarmanpreet.
In the very next minute, Varun Kumar converted a penalty corner to get his first goal in the tournament. Jugraj Singh scored his second goal, this time from a penalty corner. In the fourth and final quarter, Mandeep and Harmanpreet scored a goal each to round off the tally.
(with PTI inputs)