India stepped closer towards securing a place in the final of the 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a 7-3 win over Canada on Wednesday.-- Advertisement --
Mandeep Singh was the hero of the afternoon for the Men in Blue, hitting a sublime hat-trick against the dismal Canadians. Varun Kumar, Nilkantha Sharma, and Vivek Prasad were also on the scoresheet as well in the easy win.
.@mandeepsingh995 starred for Team India as they continued their winning streak by registering a 7-3 win over Canada in their 4th match of @azlancup. Read more: https://t.co/vOGQvARONj #IndiaKaGame #SultanAzlanShahCup2019 pic.twitter.com/YA8bc1VpmB
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 27, 2019-- Advertisement --
This was another statement of power by the Indian hockey team following an authoritative 4-2 win over hosts Malaysia on Tuesday.-- Advertisement --
India swiftly put forward their attacking foot and almost scored through Shilanand Lakra and Simranjeet Singh.
Their persistent attack paid off in the 12th minute when drag-flicker Varun Kumar scored through India’s first penalty corner to make it 1-0.-- Advertisement --
The Manpreet Singh-led team continued to put bodies forward and pressurize the Canadian defence in the second quarter as well. In the 20th minute, Sumit Kumar put a brilliant through ball to release Mandeep Singh. The latter finished the move with a sublime finish past the Canadian keeper to make the score 2-0.
Canada rarely made an enterprise in the attacking third with the North Americans kept busy by the Indian strikers launching a wave of attacks. In fact, goalkeeper Antoni Kindler seldom had a moment of relief.
However, after making a series of impressive, the Canadian keeper failed to deny Mandeep Singh in the 27th minute. The latter had latched onto a Kothajit Singh’s pass to score his second. The 24-year-old forward soon grabbed his hat-trick a couple of minutes later after playing a good one-two with Sumit Kumar. By the break, India was already leading the contest by a comfortable margin of 4-0.
Then in a rare occurrence in the 35th minute, Canada opened their account with Mark Pearson converting a penalty corner strike.
Two minutes later, Amit Rohidas chipped in another goal from a corner to make the score 5-1.
Although Canada did make a mini-comeback of sorts with goals from Fin Boothroyd (50′) and James Wallace (57′) making it 5-3 in the final quarter. However, it was probably too late as Vivek Sagar struck in the 56th-minute strike before Nilakanta Sharma scored a field goal in the 58th minute to ensure India won the match comfortably.
A long pass by Hardik trapped superbly by Nilakanta Sharma to score the 7th goal for India in 58th minute!
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 27, 2019