- India routed Russia by 10-0 in the World Series Opener.
- Harmanpreet Singh (32', 48') and Akashdeep Singh (42',56') both scored a brace.
- The Men in Blue next face Poland today.
In utter dejection, disappointment, and unwillingness, Russian goalkeeper Ivan Ozherelyeva passed the ball out of the nets once again. After all, which keeper in the world would want to concede goals in a game?
The Men in Blue took their time to get going, which was understandable considering the disheartening defeat in the finals of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
However, when they did, it was hard for the Russians to hold them back. In fact, the 10-0 scoreline only tells half the story of the kind of dominance the team showed and the number of chances that were created.
Their last meeting 11 years ago – a the Olympic qualifying tournament for the 2008 Games – had ended in a similar fashion with India winning by 8-0.
FT: 🇮🇳 10-0 🇷🇺
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) June 6, 2019
The Indian team took their time to settle in the first half, with a lot of chances created but few converted. After plenty of fancy skills and intense pressure, the hosts finally broke the deadlock in the 13th minute through Nilakanta Sharma.
Simranjeet Singh then scored in the 19th minute before Amit Rohidas converted another in the very next minute. India entered the halftime with a 3-0 lead with half a dozen missed chances.
Performance in the last 30 minutes was relatively better, with Harmanpreet Singh (32′, 48′) and Akashdeep Singh (42′,56′) both scoring a brace as India ended the fixture with 10-0 victory.
However, improving their shot to goal conversion rate would still be a priority for the team. Skipper Manpreet Singh had earlier said the team needed to work on its finishing and the rough edges were evident.
Elsewhere in the Pool A match, India’s next opponent – Poland – registered an easy 4-0 victory against underdogs Uzbekistan.
However, it was the morning’s tournament opener that created the most noise, with the USA upsetting a more experienced South Africa 2-0 in the Pool B.
India 10 (Nilakanta Sharma 13′, Simranjeet Singh 19′, Amit Rohidas 20′, Harmanpreet Singh 32′, 48′,Varun Kumar 34′, Gursahibjit Singh 37′, Akashdeep Singh 42′,56′, Vivek Prasad 45′) bt Russia 0
USA 2 (Christian D. Angelis, Paul Singh) bt South Africa 0
Poland 4 (Paweł Bratkowski 5′, 36′; Mateusz Hulboj 27′,40′) bt Uzbekistan 0
India will next meet Poland on Friday, 7th June, 7:00 pm onwards at the Kalinga Stadium.