Saturday’s mouth-watering India versus Pakistan Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final match turned out to be a one-sided affair at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis centre here. India routed Pakistan 6-1, after leading 4-0 at half-time. Ramandeep Singh (2), Talwinder Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Harmapreet Singh and Mandeep Singh were the scorers.
The win keeps India in the fray for a fifth-place finish in the Hockey World League semi-final. On Sunday, India will play Canada, 7-3 winners against China in an earlier classification match on Saturday.
Unlike their cricket team that stunned India in the ICC Champions Trophy final last Sunday, Pakistan’s hockey team produced no miracle. It was disappointing to see the erstwhile Olympic and world champions Pakistan make elementary errors on a day when they promised to challenge India after losing a close match against Argentina in the quarter-finals.
— Republic (@republic) June 24, 2017
The defeat means Pakistan can only finish seventh or eighth in this leg of the Hockey World League semi-final. It effectively narrows their chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in India. Pakistan did not make it to the 2014 World Cup in The Hague.
India had beaten Pakistan by a record 7-1 margin in a group league match of the Hockey World League on June 18. That victory got overshadowed by the big loss of Virat Kohli’s team in the ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval. On Saturday, with a cool breeze blowing across the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, India turned the heat on their arch-rivals from the word go.
India’s first four strikes came off field goals. Ramandeep Singh, who missed a hattrick against Malaysia in a quarter-final match, opened India’s scoring in the eighth minute. Had Akashdeep Singh not missed a sitter in the 10th, India would have been two-nil in the first quarter.
India pumped in three more in the second quarter. Talwinder Singh’s smart deflection off a Pradeep Mor assist, Akashdeep’s solo and Ramandeep’s sense of positioning and composure threw Pakistan totally out of gear. Mandeep Singh completed the 6-1 rout in the final quarter with a scrappy finish.