India trounce Pakistan

Defending champs score 4-2 win over arch-rivals



India led 1-0 at half time with Sardar Singh scoring from a rebound off their second penalty corner. In the second half, Mandeep Antil (47th), Gurbaj Singh (53rd) and Tushar Khandker (56th) sounded the board while Pakistan reduced margin through Mohammad Imran (37th) and Kashif Ali (66th).

Putting behind Thursday’s lacklustre show against China, India dished out an aggressive display throughout the opening half with attacks from both flanks. The Indian mid-fielders moved in tandem and with rapid inter-positional play and substitutions had the Pakistani defence on its toe.

India did not give any room for the Pakistani forwards to progress into their danger zone as Sardar Singh stood tall with support from Dhananjay Mahadik and Arjun Halappa, alongside Gurbaj Singh and Vikas Pillay.

India got their first penalty corner when Antil cut in from the left flank only to find Rashid Muhammad’s foot. Mahadhik’s flick was padded dangerously leading to another penalty corner when Sardar Singh pushed home from a rebound.
Pakistan earned their first penalty corner from a stray attack with Mahadik committing the breach while challenging striker Abdul Haseem Khan. Amir Shahzad, however, wasted the opportunity.

Pakistan came back strongly on resumption in the second half and found the equaliser from a penalty stroke conceded by a deliberate obstruction by Rupinder Pal. Indian custodian Sreejesh did not have an answer to Pakistan skipper Mohammed Imran’s strike in the 37th minute. Stung by this reversal, India accelerated their pace mounting further pressure on the Pakistan defence. They went ahead again in the 47th minute when Gurbaj set up Antil whose faint deflection beat the Pakistani custodian. The Indian domination continued as six minutes later they increased their lead with Gurbaj nailing one from atop the circle.

With the swing in favour of India, Tushar Khandker cashed in to score the fourth goal from a turnover spearheaded by Shivendra Singh in the 56th minute. Pakistan were able to put one past Sreejesh from their second penalty corner when Kashif Ali found the target.

India now have four points from two outings and will next play Asian champions South Korea on Sunday.
In an earlier fixture, world champions Australia scored a 4-0 win over comfortably beat Egypt.
PTI

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