Incheon: Playing their first match of the Asian Games at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium here, the Indian men's team defeated neighbours Sri Lanka 8-0 in a Pool B contest here Sunday.
It was Rupinder Pal Singh’s hat-trick and Ramandeep Singh’s double that put India in more than a comfortable position and a goal each from V.R. Raghunath, Chinglensana Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah gave the opponents a big setback.
Following the strategy of putting pressure on the opponents from the onset, the Indian forwards penetrated the 'D' of the opponents immediately. Just six minutes into the game, it was Thimmaiah who scored the first field goal, giving the much required break to India.
In the 12th minute, India earned a penalty stroke which was successfully converted by Rupinder.
Sri Lanka tried to come back but Raghunath had different plans and in the 15th minute he converted a penalty corner to end the first quarter with India leading 3-0.
The second quarter was no different for minnows Sri Lanka as they yet again could not stop India from penetrating their 'D'. In the 21st minute, Chinglensana scored the fourth goal for the team and the 28th minute saw Ramandeep further add to the scorecard to end the first half 5-0.
India continued the attacking mode in the second half also. The third and fourth quarters saw Rupinder score two back-to-back goals in the 45th and 46th minutes.
While the first was a field goal scored just before the end of the third quarter, his second goal came immediately at the start of the fourth quarter from a penalty corner conversion.
India’s eighth goal came in the 59th minute from Ramandeep's stick.
India will play their second match against Oman Tuesday.