India maul Lanka 20-0 in another goal-fest

India maul Lanka 20-0 in another goal-fest

DOMINANT India's (from left) Akashdeep Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and SV Sunil celebrate after scoring a goal against Sri Lanka in Jakarta on Tuesday. AFP

Defending champions India made a mockery of Sri Lankan challenge pumping in 20 goals to remain unbeaten in the pool stages, setting up a tricky semifinal clash against Malaysia in the men's hockey competition at the Asian Games here on Tuesday.

It has been a scintillating performance from the Indians in the pool stages as they scored as many as 76 goals and conceded just three.

It was always going to be a cakewalk for world No 5 India against Sri Lanka, ranked 38th and it turned out to be so as the title holders toyed with the rival defence to score goals at will.

Akashdeep Singh (9th, 11th, 17th, 22nd, 32nd, 42nd minutes) scored six goals while Rupinder Pal Singh (1st, 52, 53rd), playing his 200th international match, Harmanpreet Singh (5th, 21st, 33rd) and Mandeep Singh (35th, 43rd, 59th) struck thrice each as India completely dismantled the Sri Lankan defence from start to finish.

Besides the duo, Lalit Upadhyay (57th, 58th), Vivek Sagar Prasad (31st), Amit Rohidas (38th) and Dilpreet Singh (53rd) scored a goal each.

India, thus, toped Pool A with an all-win record from five games and will take on second placed team in Pool B, Malaysia, in the first semifinal on Thursday.

Having already secured their place in the semifinals, the match against Sri Lanka was an inconsequential encounter for the Indians but they came out in full steam to decimate the islanders.

Such was India's domination that the Lankans failed to register a single shot at the Indian goal, leave aside earning any penalty corners.

The Indians, on the other hand, had 46 shots at the Lankan goal and found the target on 20 occasions.

The Indians scored 12 field goals, seven from penalty corners and one from penalty stroke.

Such was India's confidence that they withdrew their goalkeeper 10 minutes from the hooter for an extra field player and the move bore fruit as they scored six goals in that period.

Meanwhile, last edition's bronze medallist India will face reigning silver medallist China in the semifinals of the women's hockey competition here on Wednesday while title holders Korea will take on Japan.

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