- Indian Team defeated Uzbekistan by 10-0
- They will face either Asian Games winners Japan or Poland in the semi-finals.
- The USA may face Russia or South Africa in another crunch semifinal.
As was expected, Indian hockey team strolled past minnow Uzbekistan with a comprehensive 10-0 victory in the final game of Pool B of the FIH World Series Finals on Monday. Akashdeep Singh scored a hat-trick for the Men in Blue to see off a routine victory. As a result, the hosts finished on top of the pool with the result and thus, to the semi finals of the competition. They will now face either Asian Games winners Japan or South Africa in the last four stage.-- Advertisement --
It was always going to be an inconsequential game, considering the huge gap that India had built in the points table. Moreover, with the two sides separated by almost 40 places in the international rankings it was going to be hardly any contest.
FT: IND 10-0 UZB
An emphatic win for India in their last pool match as they make their way into the Semi Finals of the tournament!-- Advertisement --
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) June 10, 2019-- Advertisement --
The hosts were easy on their opponents in the opening 15 minutes, scoring only thrice. Interestingly, all came through penalty corners. However, the Indians also wasted 4 of them apart from missing a handful of open chances.-- Advertisement --
Nonetheless, the team improved in the second quarter. The team finally got its basics right, slamming four more in the aftermath. There was no threat from the other end of the arena, with the Uzbeks entering the Indian circle merely once in the initial 30 minutes of the game.
The second half was not much different, with more pain on offer for the visitors. The Men in Blue ended the game with a comprehensive scoreline of 10-0. However, coach Graham Reid might not be happy with the side’s overall performance. Indian team’s performances were marred by minuscle coordination, evident basic passing errors and entrapment of the forwards in wrong positions. There was a considerable amount of bluntness in the team’s performance, a thing that India would be looking to change with the semi finals coming up fast.
Winning next match will be of pivotal importance from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier point of view.
Earlier in the day, USA booked a direct entry to the semifinals despite drawing 2-2 with Japan in Pool B. Although tied on points in the the pool table, USA edged past the Asian Games champion on goal difference. As a reward, they will now face either Russia or Poland in the semifinals.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) June 10, 2019
India 10 (Akashdeep Singh 3, Mandeep Singh 2, Varun Kumar 2, Nilakanta Sharma, Amit Rohidas, Gursahibjit Singh) beat Uzbekistan 0;
USA 2 (Deegan Huisman 2) drew with Japan 2 (Kenta Tanaka, Suguru Hoshi); South Africa 6 (Austin Smith, Keenan Horne, Richard Pautz, Matthew De Sousa, Nicholas Spooner, Nqobile Ntuli) bt Mexico 0.