India continued with their blistering start in the Hockey Asia Cup 2017 as they walloped Bangladesh 7-0 in Dhaka on Friday. After thrashing Japan 5-1 in their first match, India’s Harmanpreet Singh earned another brace, while Gurjant Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Amit Rohidas and Ramandeep Singh also added their names to the scoresheet in what was a lopsided encounter.
As for the hosts, their misery continued as they succumbed to a second 0-7 defeat in the tournament after being thrashed by Pakistan in their tournament opener by the same scoreline. In attack, Akashdeep was once again India’s go-to man, and was at the heart of every attacking move that his side created.
The two-time winners registered as many as five goals in the first-half, four of which came in the first quarter alone. Gurjant Singh, drafted into the starting XI in this match, opened his team’s account with a simple deflection after being set up by a defence-splitting ball by Akashdeep.
Akashdeep then turned scorer with a clever turn and shot to the bottom corner to double India’s lead. The Indian attack once again threaded a ball through the Bangladesh defence with ease. Upadhyay made it two field goals from as many games to make it 3-0 after 11 minutes.
India’s onslaught continued in the second quarter and the fourth goal – another field goal – also came in rather simple fashion. This time, it was Rohidas who deflected the ball home.
Bangladesh lost their referral after a penalty stroke was awarded for a clip on Ramandeep Singh as he lined up to take a shot. Harmanpreet, who had a forgettable day with penalty corners, dispatched the ball from the spot to the bottom right corner to make it five.
The defender would bring up his fourth goal of the tournament in the second half with a ferocious drag-flick. It was Ramandeep who got the ball rolling in the second period, with a smart finish from a penalty corner after a pass-back from Varun Kumar.
Bangladesh hardly threatened the Indian defence but goalkeeper Abu Nippon did his reputation no harm, denying the Indians from point-blank range on atleast three occasions. India have secured their passage to the second round with two wins and play arch-rivals Pakistan in their final group encounter on Sunday.
- India 7 (Harmanpreet Singh x 2, Gurjant Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Amit Rohidas, Ramandeep Singh) beat Bangladesh 0.